Free Speech, Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

Breaking: SCOTUS Expands Free Speech in Politics By Liberalizing Campaign Finance Rules

This morning the Supreme Court handed down its eagerly awaited decision in Citizens United v. FEC (PDF). The ruling will allow both corporations and labor unions to participate more fully in the political process. The opinion was written, not surprisingly, by Justice Kennedy.

More after the jump.

Here’s a summary of the decision, from the AP:

Thumbnail image for Supreme Court 6 Above the Law blog.JPGThe Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

By a 5-4 vote, the court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

To read the full opinion or commentary on it, check out the links below, as well as SCOTUSblog.

Citizens United v. FEC [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
Campaign disclosure rules upheld [SCOTUSblog]
LiveBlog: Opinions | 1.21.10 [SCOTUSblog]
Supreme Court rolls back campaign spending limits [Associated Press]

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