Citizens United v. FEC

What the decision means for the triple bottom line

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) is a U.S. constitutional law case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by organizations. In a 5-4 decision in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money on elections.

2012 marked the first presidential election since the Citizens United decision, and the subsequent rise of Super PACs changed the face of the political cycle. While some activists, pundits and pols on both sides of the aisle continue to call for the decision to be overturned, it remains the law of the land.

Protesters voice their opposition to the Citizens United decision at a rally in Atlanta in 2012.

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