In advance of the Citizens United v. FEC reargument tomorrow morning, it might be illuminating to examine common arguments by those on the “reform” side in the case. This post is a response to Frank Askin’s piece at NJ Voices. Askin is a Professor of Law and Director of the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School. It’s cross-posted at PublicSquare.net’s blogging heads page.
Askin’s piece addresses three alleged shortcomings in the free speech side of Citizens United v. FEC, specifically as defended by noted First Amendment litigator Floyd Abrams on the Bill Moyers Journal Friday.
Askin’s issues are (1) the longstanding ban on corporate political donations, (2) the distinction between member-based union speech and shareholder corporate speech, and (3) the constitutional distinction of “We the People” not bestowing First Amendment rights on corporations.
Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Brad Smith addressed these specific issues at length at a Cato Institute policy debate today with American University law professor and Maryland state Sen. Jamin Raskin. The video is available here and is embedded at the end of this post.