Citizens United v. FEC: A Landmark Decision in Favor of Free Speech
Hans von Spakovsky /
The “First Principles” on which this country were founded are the principles that the Heritage Foundation works to advance everyday. In today’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. FEC, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court upheld some of the most important principles: the right to engage in free speech, particularly political speech, and the right to freely associate.
It is no surprise that these rights are in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. The Founders, who had fought a long, hard war with the English crown to establish our independence, knew that the ability to associate freely (think the Sons of Liberty) and to engage in political speech without being censored by the government were fundamental rights crucial to our republic. That is why the Supreme Court’s decision throwing out a federal ban on independent political expenditures by corporations (including non-profits) is a return to, as the Court said, “ancient First Amendment principles.” (more…)