May 6, 2009

Free Speech Case: Citizens United (Hillary: the Movie) v. Federal Election Commission

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: The Cato Institute has been following the Citizens United v. FEC case, in which the Supreme Court is set to rule on whether an organization can use speech about a political candidate in the days leading up to an election. The Federal Election Commission banned Citizen United from showing a film against Hillary Clinton on a pay-per-view basis shortly before the last year’s election.

The so-called Citizens United case offers the Supreme Court a chance to severely curtail the free speech abuses of the Federal Election Commission. If the government can ban broadcasts under federal law, that else can they ban? Books? Commercials? In the following CATO video, campaign finance law and free speech experts discuss the case, and what it means for the future of free speech. The Supreme Court is set to rule on it in the next few weeks. John Samples, Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Representative Government, Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Steve Simpson and George Mason University law professor Allison Hayward weigh in.

The infringement on free speech is troubling. We will be sure to let you know when the Supreme Court makes their ruling. While we cannot predict the outcome, the very thought that the government could eventually ban books, news print, this blog, and any other form of political commentary is nothing more than overturning the 1st amendment. What part of "Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . ." does Congress and the Federal Election Commission not understand?

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