Last month the Supreme Court decided what may well be the most important decision of the Term (if not the Roberts Court thus far). In Citizens United, the justices invalidated a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act which barred corporations from spending money on behalf of, or against, candidates for office. They also overturned their precedent in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which had allowed restrictions on corporate speech. Citizens United has been applauded in some quarters as a “free speech” decision, or for eliminating distinctions between corporations and individuals. It has been reviled in other quarters for the same reasons. Polls show unhappiness on both the left and the right. This Forum brings together a set of high-profile experts to talk about Citizens United: whether it was right or wrong as a matter of constitutional law, and what its ramifications will be for American politics? Will money now flow from corporate coffers into political races? Or will the decision mean less that it seems in the long run?
Floyd Abrams, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
Samuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law
Monica Youn, Counsel in the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law