“Has Citizens United Undermined Democracy?”

WNYC “Open to Debate” podcast:

In a high-stakes presidential election year, in partnership with the Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Open to Debate is taking a look at more than a decade of the Citizens United Supreme Court case. The 2010 landmark decision that ruled the free speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political communications by corporations, including nonprofits, labor unions, and other associations, changed the landscape of political spending in the U.S. This gave rise to Super PACS and an increase in election campaign spending. Since then, there have been questions about whether the decision has harmed our democratic process. Those who support the decision argue it upholds free speech, allowing diverse voices in the political arena, and broadens the range of discourse by enabling groups to freely express their views and support candidates or policies. Those against it argue that it allows a disproportionate influence from corporations and special interest groups, and leaves the voices of ordinary citizens overshadowed by the financial resources of a few, eroding the principles of equality and fair representation.  With this context, we debate the question: Has Citizens United Undermined Democracy?     This debate is presented in partnership with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as part of the Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series. It will be recorded live in person on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at the Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Arguing Yes: Francesca Procaccini, Assistant Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School; Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law at Stetson University   Arguing No: Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel; Eric Wang, Partner at The Gober Group, pro bono Senior Fellow at the Institute for Free Speech

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