ONE YEAR AGO TODAY. Do you remember where you were when Citizens United was announced a year ago today? Were you at the Court? Hitting the “reload” button while at Election Law Blog to get the news as soon as possible? (Like me.)
A year ago a political law expert would scratch his or her head if you referred to “super PAC,” “IE-only PC,” or the “Alito shake.” But today, with the 2010 elections in the rear view mirror, we are in a new political law landscape defined, or maybe redefined, to large extent, by Citizens United. As the campaign money and message machines of 2012 begin to lock and engage, the impact crater of the opinion is certainly the largest of any campaign finance case since Buckley. Next year we might be talking about another important campaign finance case from the Supreme Court, but I think it will be years before we see another enter into nearly mainstream public conversation.
As the Supreme Court has ruled, Congress should get out of the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas and placing its thumb on the scale of federal elections. In Citizens United, the court reminded us that when our government seeks “to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought.” The government argued in Citizens United that it could ban books advocating the election of a candidate if they were published by a corporation or labor union. Today, thanks to Citizens United, we may celebrate that the First Amendment confirms what our forefathers fought for: “the freedom to think for ourselves.”
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION YESTERDAY? The FEC met yesterday to consider two draft notices to initiate its Citizens United rulemaking. Neither was approved. FEC Press Release. Commissioners released statements and they’re available here and here.
NPR REPORT ON ANNIVERSARY. Peter Overby’s NPR report is online here.
DOOMSDAY OR NOT SO MUCH. The Columbus Dispatch notes the story here.
GO CU, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY. From the Huffington Post.
MORE LATER. I’ll add other CU-related links as they come in.
UPDATES: Ciara Torres-Spelliscy’s “The Unfinished Business of Citizens United” is available here.
“The Citizens United Election? Or Same as it Ever Was?” by Michael W. Franz is available here.
Politico’s Ken Vogel covers the one year story here.
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LOBBYING REPORT REPORTS. The Hill covers the Chamber’s lobbying reports this quarter.
CLOSING POLITICAL AFFAIRS. The Times reports that the White House Office of Political Affairs is closing. I believe Sen. McCain said he wanted to do that during the 2008 campaign.
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