Bringing Back Democracy: Citizens United

After the candidates had been finally presented, it was not hard to realize that it was going to be a different election campaign in the United States.

 

On January 20, the Supreme Court issued the judgment in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a case of freedom of expression, interpretation of the first amendment. What the US Constitution says – in what matters to us – is that Congress cannot enact laws that restrict freedom of expression or printing. Adopted in December 1791, the First Amendment is one of the fundamental pieces of American Constitutional Law. From the less than fifty words contained in it, the Supreme Court of the United States has known how to construct a doctrine that guarantees fundamental civil liberties, especially religious freedoms, the press, association, and expression.

 

The open texture of the First Amendment of the American Constitution is evident in the abstract nature of its tenor. Like the most important constitutional provisions, it guarantees the “right” to freedom of expression but does not specify the dimensions of it. It is, therefore, necessary to resort to constitutional interpretation to determine their scope.

 

By The People, For The People

 

In Citizens, the US Supreme Court offers an absolutist view of the First Amendment of the Constitution that allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money independently to support or oppose candidates for office. In

 

Which claims to be a firm defense of the “freedom of expression” enshrined in the First Amendment, the Supreme Court gives carte blanche to the deregulation of election campaign financing, allowing opaque contributions from companies, without limitation no type.

 

The model of financing of the electoral campaigns in the United States has two characteristics that particularize it. The first is that the rules that regulate it apply mainly to the candidates and not to the political parties to which they belong, and the second, that although there are sources of public and private funding, the latter are the main source of the candidates’ income.

 

Getting in line

 

Citizens United, argues that Americans deserve to be sure that large corporations in their country are not using foreign shareholders’ money to influence the country’s elections. It also calls on state and federal lawmakers to ensure that large corporations are not being used as a front to allow foreign money to filter into US elections. The FEC is the state control body that has the task of ensuring that the elections are fair but is paralyzed as the three Democratic members and the three Republicans are in a partisan clash.

 

With a clear mission to combat big money in Politics, End Citizens United aims to trigger the reforms that will make the United States the synonym of freedom once again.