WILPF has joined four other organizations to file a "friend of the court" brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to overturn longstanding rules barring political expenditures by corporations. Whatever the outcome, this case will have a significant impact on our electoral process. It is scheduled to be argued on September 9.
“The notion that corporations have the same speech rights as people under our Bill of Rights is contrary to the words, history, spirit and intent of our Constitution,” said attorney Jeff Clements. “The organizations that joined to bring these arguments to the Court have worked with others for many years to empower democratic self-government. They remind us that corporations do not vote, speak, or act as people do, but are products of government policy to achieve economic and charitable ends. As such, corporations need not be allowed to influence our elections if Congress and state governments judge that such influence is detrimental to democracy.”
The case now before the Court began when a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation calling itself Citizens United challenged the constitutionality of a federal ban on expenditures for “electioneering communications” by corporations and labor unions within sixty days of an election. The ban is part of the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Under the Act, corporations and labor unions may still contribute to Political Action Committees.
The Supreme Court will hear further argument in the case in September.
A copy of the amicus brief can be read at http://www.clementsllc.com/home/Whats_New.html
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