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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The New York Times Notes Ongoing Effects of Citizens United, Calls for Reform

The New York Times published an editorial today criticizing the effects of the Supreme Court decision in last year’s landmark Citizens United v. F.E.C. case, in which the Court ruled that the government may not ban campaign spending by corporations. The Court justified its decision by noting that “prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters.”

However, as today's editorial points out, this has not come to pass:
American elections have since been flooded with corporate money. And the court’s reasoning is proving to be wrong: Shareholders of most American companies can’t determine whether corporate campaign spending is in their best interest because they haven’t been told how the companies are spending in political races.

The New York Times urges the Securities and Exchange Commission to pass a rule requiring the disclosure of political expenditures to shareholders, citing a petitionlast week by a group of legal scholars calling for greater transparency in corporate political contributions.

For more on the pro-corporate Roberts Court, its decisions, and its upcoming cases, see our Corporate Court resource page.

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