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The Citizens United Case

Lecture no. 23 from the course: Liberty on Trial in America: Cases That Defined Freedom

The Citizens United Case

Taught by Professor Douglas O. Linder | 30 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online History Courses

U.S. candidates have a long history of trying to outraise and outspend their opponents to win elections. This has meant, oftentimes, that big corporations and wealthy donors determine election outcomes and, at least potentially, gain an opportunity to influence the votes and policies of the candidates they helped elect. In response, Congress had repeatedly tried to curtail such “corrupting” activities. Explore why, then, in 2010, the Supreme Court declared any ban on political spending by corporations to be unconstitutional—and why, at the same time, most polls show strong support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling.