The significance of ‘Citizens United’ decision

By now the majority of people are aware that the US Supreme Court made some changes on how money can be utilized during elections and by whom. Here is what transpired and how important it is to you as a US Citizen.

 

According to the Citizen United ruling released in 2010, the high court allowed various organizations and unions to spend as much as they need to convince voters to elect candidates of their choice. Note that the court ruling did not affect contribution. However, it is still against the law for firms and labor union to provide funds to candidates for federal office. The high court suggested that since these funds were not used to fund the campaigns. For this reason, the funds did not increase the rate of corruption.

 

Since the decision was based on spending, much has been written concerning the eight-figure contributions from individuals like casino magnet and Sheldon Adelson. To understand the logic behind it, you need to look at another court case. The Citizen United case was used as a precedent when the court ruled that restrictions on donations to the organizations that make independent expenditure was are unconstitutional.

 

Note that this resulted in the foundation of Super PACs that acts as shadow political parties. The PACs accepts unlimited contributions from tycoons, unions, and corporation. The Supreme Court kept restriction on disclosure in place, and the PACs must report on who their financiers are frequently. Note that it is not possible to implement the same rules on social welfare organization and other non-profits such as business leagues.

 

These organizations can play the same roles as super PACs given that they don’t take election exercises as they main activity. However, unlike the super PACs, nonprofit organizations are not required to report who finances them.

 

The Citizen United resolution was unexpectedly offered the sensitivity concerning the corporate and union funds being utilized to effect a federal election. In 1907, the Congress banned the organization from financing federal campaigns. In 1971, the Congress changed their mind and passed the Federal Election Campaign Act. The Campaign Act required a comprehensive report on campaign donations and expenditures.

 

 

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