Religious freedom is a sacred Constitutional right given to every American, but corporations are not people. The Supreme Court is simply wrong to treat corporations like they are. In the Citizens United case this view resulted in a dramatic increase in outside, untraceable money flowing into politics. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Court ruled that certain types of corporations can have religious values and as a result of that be able to deny types of healthcare to their employees because of the corporation’s views. This is a dangerous precedent to set and opens the door to many more court challenges from private employers.
I believe the Supreme Court made a mistake in giving corporations the same rights as people. Citizens United ultimately increased the influence of special interests on our political process and put a “for sale” sign on Congress.
While labor unions and Political Action Committees (PACs) were already putting too much money into our political system, Citizens United made this far worse. The ruling basically allows any corporation, labor union, or individual to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections, even if a corporation is established for the sole purpose of raising and spending money on elections. The decision also enables organizations called 501(c)4s to spend unlimited amounts of money in politics without reporting who is funding them. This excessive spending and lack of transparency isn’t good for the American political process.
Even more alarming is that the decision opens up the door for significant foreign influence in US elections. Because donations can be made through any US corporation, even one with significant foreign ownership, foreign countries could exert significant influence in US elections.
Citizens United is now the law of the land, but that doesn’t mean we should accept unlimited donations made in secret. All political spending should be subject to the same rigorous disclosure requirements made of candidates for federal office, thereby allowing voters to make informed decisions about candidates.
Sign up to help bring Common Sense to Washington.