Thursday, November 23, 2017

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

    Citizens United, a 501(c)(4) organization, sued the Federal Election Commission seeking injunctive relief because they feared that they would be subject to civil and criminal penalties if it made a documentary against a presidential candidate within 30 days of the primary election in 2008. The issue in this case is whether a law that made it illegal for a corporation (for-profit or nonprofit) to release a movie endorsing a candidate 30 days before the election was constitutional. The supreme court of the United States held that the law was unconstitutional. The court held, “the government may not, under the First Amendment, suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity, the federal statute barring independent corporate expenditures for electioneering communications violated the First Amendment.” By holding this law unconstitutional the supreme court allows nonprofit organizations to get involved in politics, but some nonprofit’s statutory criteria strictly forbid this and could endanger their tax-exempt status.  Citizens United v. Federal Election Com’n, 130 S.Ct. 876-77 (2010). To read the entire case, click here:



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