The impact of Citizens United

In 2010, the Supreme Court controversially ruled on the case of Citizens United v. F.E.C. This case was debating the legality of montary caps on what could be donated by individuals to election campaigns. Their ruling was that spending could not be restricted by corporations, associations or labour unions; thus, began the meteoric rise of the Super PAC.

Obama criticised this ruling at his State of the Union address saying, “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of lawto open the floodgates for special interests…to spend without limit in our elections”. This in itself caused controversy as the conservative justice Samuel Alito mouthed, ‘not true, not true’ back to Obama in the chambers of Congress, giving some insight into the tensions caused by Separation of Powers.

This article, three years on, demonstrates the impact of this ruling on elections. It should leave you in no doubt as to the importance and power of the Supreme Court when they choose to be, and could easily be used as evidence for an essay on the ‘Imperial Judiciary’.