Political Book Summaries, Reviews and Opinions

Political Book Summaries, Reviews and Opinions

A Contractual Solution to Citizens United

A Contractual Solution to Citizens United

Now that the Supreme Court has freed corporations to expressly advocate for the election or defeat of federal candidates, many pundits feel that is simply beyond the power of Congress to constitutionally curtail the corrosive potential of corporate speech.

But Bruce Ackerman and I just published a piece in the Washington Post arguing that Congress can constitutionally prohibit corporations that are federal contractors from paying for ads “endorsing or opposing a candidate for public office.”

In a sense, we’re just trying take the “personhood” of corporations seriously. The Supreme Court has granted corporations free speech rights, because the law treats these artificial creations as legal persons. But these powerful and publicly-traded fictional people should at least also be subject to the same anti-corruption restrictions as real people. Current law prohibits federal contractors (and those that are trying to become one) from directly or indirectly making contributions to political parties and candidates. Our proposal to bar contractors from buying endorsement time merely captures one powerful method of making an indirect contribution.

This is a really interesting idea. This idea would basically bar any corporation who works for the government also directly engaging in politics. It’s a good read and a good idea. 🙂

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