1. What does the cartoonist predict will be the effect of the Citizens Unitedruling? 2. What assumptions does the cartoonist seem to make about voters? Are they valid assumptions? Explain.
16 CITIZENS UNITED © The Bill of Rights Institute L ESSON A NSWER K EY Handout A: Agree or Disagree 1. Governments could place no restraints on publication in advance. 2. The law did not impose a prior restraint. That is, it did not prevent publication in advance. 3. The Court ruled that a broad claim of national security did not justify a prior restraint under the First Amendment. Accept reasoned answers. 4. The Court reasoned that free and open debate about the conduct of public officials was moreimportant than occasional, honest factual errors that might hurt or damage officials’ reputations.Accept reasoned answers. 5. Accept reasoned answers. Handout B: Citizens United v. F.E.C.,2010 Background Essay1. The banning of direct campaign contributions by corporations (Tillman Act, 1907), limitationson activities of federal employees (Hatch Act,1939), banning direct campaign contributions by labor unions (Taft-Hartley, 1947), publicreporting requirements and dollar-amount limitations on contributions (FECA, 1971& 1974), and a ban on “electioneering communications” within a set time period prior to elections (BCRA, 2002).2. The Court deemed that restricting independent spending by individuals and groups to support or defeat a candidate interfered with speech protected by the First Amendment, so long as those funds were independent of a candidate or his/her campaign. Such restrictions, the Court held, unconstitutionally interfered with the speakers’ ability to convey their message to as many people as possible.3. Citizens United, a non-profit group fundedby donations, produced a feature-length movie critical of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The movie was to be shown nationwide in select theaters and through a major cable company’s On-Demand service. It potentially ran afoul of the BCRA’s limitation on “electioneering communications” within 30-days of a primary election or 60-days of a general election, paid for by a corporation’s general fund. 4. Citizens United v. F.E.C.extended the principle, set 34 years earlier in Buckley,that restrictions on spending money for the purpose of engaging in political speech unconstitutionally burdened the right to free speech protected by the First Amendment.
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- Spring '13
- Supreme Court of the United States, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Citizens United