Citizens United and Its Critics

This short article by famed First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams examines criticism of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Amidst the criticism, the author highlights what most of the decision’s opponents miss:  the Citizens United decision wasn’t about “money in politics”; it was about the First Amendment. By inspecting the oral argument of Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart and then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan, the article illustrates the decision’s potential impact on the First Amendment, had it been decided differently. Abrams continues, placing the Citizens United decision in context with a brief examination of several other First Amendment cases decided by the Roberts Court, and concludes with a strong message about the case and its seminal relationship to the First Amendment.