News Release

Citizens United Supreme Court Opinion Widens Corporate “Personhood” Rights

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 - Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission will significantly expand the role that the most powerful corporations play in election financing.

 

In a shocking burst of judicial activism, the Supreme Court decided that corporations should be treated in the same manner as ordinary citizens and be allowed to spend the massive amounts of money they accumulate on direct attack ads for or against Members of Congress.

 

 

“This egregious decision turns back the clock on over 60 years of precedent,” said Catherine Ngo, Field Organizer for the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group. 

“A corporation is not, nor has it ever been, a person with voting rights. Corporations are not your neighbors, they cannot get married, they cannot die, and a corporation is not part of ‘We the People,’” she added. “It is essential that we fix this misstep by the courts, before we see the landscape of elections financing washed away in a raging flashflood of corporate money.”

 

Lifting the ban on corporate money could further diminish the public voice in a system that already favors monied special interests, and will certainly lesson the public trust in our officials.
This decision could have major implications for Pennsylvania, which has passed state laws prohibiting campaign spending from corporate or union treasuries for state candidates. “The Citizens United decision gives corporations room to challenge the law at the state level,” said Ngo.
PennPIRG and its Washington partner, U.S. PIRG, are working in concert with the White House and Senate and House Leadership to help move a legislative fix to slam shut the floodgates that today’s decision has opened.

 

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PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.

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