Citizens United and profound changes for nonprofits

Eliza Newlin Carney discusses Citizens United and nonprofits here.

The ruling ended a decades-old ban on direct corporate and (by extension) union spending on elections. It also threw out a requirement in the 2002 McCain-Feingold law that groups use only hard (regulated) money to pay for ads that picture or name a candidate in the run-up to an election. All corporations, including nonprofits, are affected.

“It opened up a whole host of opportunities for corporations and incorporated trade associations,” said Lawrence H. Norton, who co-heads the political law practice at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, during the firm’s recent webinar on Citizens United. “But with those opportunities come some risks.”

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