Researching Citizens United

What is Citizens United?

Court case decided by Supreme Court of the United States in January 2010. It set aside provisions of campaign finance law that limited corporate spending in American elections. That law is formally called the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), but is more commonly known as the "McCain-Feingold" law.

Quick Reference: Liptak, Adam. 2010. "Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit," New York Times 21 Jan 2010.

Who is "Citizens United"?

Citizens United is an American non-profit organization (tax-exempt 501(c)(3)) founded in 1988 to support conservative causes. More specifically, it's mission is to restore the United States government to "citizens' control"1 and to "assert American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security."2 Among other activities it produces advertisements and documentaries.

At the Supreme Court

The case was first argued on March 24, 2009 and then re-argued the following September. The decision was announced in January 2010].

Bits and Pieces

  1. What is a corporation?
  2. What are the different forms of organization available for a business?
  3. What is the difference between a business corporation and an advocacy organization.
  4. What is a non-profit corporation?
  5. Why do we call NPOs 501(c)(s)?
  6. How does the supreme court "get" a case?
  7. A Brief History of Campaign Finance Reform
  8. How does the constitution get amended?
  9. Do other countries limit campaign spending?
  10. Do other countries limit campaign advertising?
  11. How many different things do we mean by "corporate ethics"?