Sunlight on Citizens United v. FEC

Aug. 20, 2012, 2:43 a.m.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the 2010 “Citizens United v. FEC” case rendered 24 state election laws unconstitutional. The 5-4 ruling in favor of Citizens United reversed a provision of the McCain-Feingold act that prohibited any electioneering communication – defined as advertising via broadcast, cable or satellite that is paid for by corporations or labor unions.

In June 2012 the Supreme Court upheld the Citizens United decision in the case “American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock” that addressed a Montana law prohibiting corporate contributions in elections. Here is the Sunlight Foundation’s response to that decision.

  • Sunlight's Position

    • Sunlight's Policy Recommendations Following Citizens United

      The Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, opened the door to an unfettered, unregulated influx of money into elections from corporations and labor unions. A first step in addressing the multitude of problems the decision created is disclosure. It is incumbent upon Congress to immediately create a robust, rapid transparency regime that takes full advantage of technology. This requires real-time, online transparency on every level of influence, from independent expenditures to lobbying to bundled campaign contributions.

  • Reporting

  • Editorials

  • TV

    • CSPAN: Opaque Spending

      A panel discussion on CSPAN explains the post-Citizen United world without disclosure and cites the work of the Sunlight Foundation.