Supreme Court Campaign-Finance Ruling

facebook twitter google print email

Dr. Kermit Roosevelt
Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania

Researches and teaches constitutional law and conflict of laws.
Former clerk to Supreme Court Justice David Souter

“The decision is a bad thing for democracy. It reflects a misunderstanding of the First Amendment. Corporations are not people and do not have constitutional rights, properly speaking, so a justification for applying the First Amendment here must rest on the listeners. The interests that corporate speech promotes could be promoted by actual people -- typically, the shareholders or employees of a corporation -- so there is no compelling reason to give the corporation rights to promote it. And given the ability of corporations to drown out real people, there are good reasons not to.”