The Supreme Court and Free Speech: Citizens United vs. FEC – Opportunities and Pitfalls for Companies
The recent Supreme Court case Citizens United vs. FEC has been denounced by some as a catastrophe for the democratic system of governance and praised by others as a vindication of free speech rights for corporations, labor unions and NGOs – all of whom collaborated in arguing for the line of reasoning that the court ultimately took in its landmark decision.
Discussion of Citizens United thus far has focused on the constitutional arguments advanced by the Supreme Court’s majority and minority opinions. Little attention has been paid to the case’s practical impact on how business decision-makers will or ought to react to the political opportunities and pitfalls afforded by the ruling.
Business Issues: The business view on political issues is seldom monolithic. Will the opinion lead to costly spending wars between industries that are on different sides of a particular issue or who support rival candidates that represent these opposing issues? Is the ruling in fact an incumbent protection plan that enables the majority of incumbents who are ultimately re-elected from safe districts an opportunity to seek contributions in exchange for post-election good will? Or is the opinion a welcome change that will promote more robust discussion of the issues and a better informed electorate?
Audience: This KnowlEdge Series is designed for senior decision makers who are concerned with the risks and opportunities arising from this ruling and their company’s role in the public forum. These include managers in legal, communications, public relations, investor relations, government affairs and related area.
PART ONE: Citizens United vs. FEC – Opportunities and Pitfalls for Companies … view details
20 May, 2010 03:00 PM EST [15:00] | (1 hr)
Please note: a recording is not available for Part One of this series.
PART TWO:Citizens United vs. FEC – Opportunities and Pitfalls for Companies … view details
27 May, 2010 03:00 PM EST [15:00] | (1 hr)
PART THREE: Citizens United vs. FEC – Opportunities and Pitfalls for Companies … view details
03 June, 2010 03:00 PM EST [15:00] | (1 hr)
Ronald E. Berenbeim
Ronald E. Berenbeim is a senior fellow at The Conference Board. From 2001 to 2003, he served as a project director for a World Bank study of private sector anticorruption practices in East Asia and co-authored, with Jean-François Arvis,