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the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms election process

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Challenge Declined
Viewed: 1,620 times Debate No: 28124
Debate Rounds (3)
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The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (we'll refer to it from here-on as, simply, Citizens United) decision was a Supreme Court decision released in 2010. In a narrow 5-4 decision, the court held that political spending is speech protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Post-Citizens United, corporations or unions are free to spend money to support or denounce candidates in elections. They cannot make direct contributions to campaigns to fund their activities, but they may make statements in advertisements or other media about candidates for office.

My first contention is corporate control causes undue corporate influence over the election process. This argument is contextualized by Peter Rothberg in a piece published in The Nation: Peter Rothberg, "The Story of 'Citizens United' vs. the FEC," The Nation, March 2, 2011. "And the results of the 2010 election bore out progressive fears as corporate-front groups flooded the electoral zone with massive contributions to reactionary Tea Party candidates. In fact, as Leonard's film makes clear, the kind of independent groups that corporations are now allowed to support spent $300 million to influence the 2010 midterm elections, more than every midterm election since 1990 combined."

My second contention is that people will become increasingly cynical about the political process if they believe that their elected officials are, in essence, controlled by corporations with access to more capital than they could ever reasonably hope to acquire. This is devastating to democracy because democracy only works when people believe their opinions count and are being represented. A deluge of corporate funding creates the perception (correct or not) that politicians aren't interested in the average voter"s opinion and that their vote may not count.

My third contention is Citizens United allows corporations to spend people's money on causes with which they may not agree. Money isn't speech and corporations aren't people. the Citizens United decision:

1.Allows corporations to make political statements using investor money without their knowledge. With the decision, a liberal person could theoretically invest in a conservative company and have their cash fund ads advocating policies with which they disagree. Additionally, since there are no requirements for those expenditures to be reported, the investor may never know.

2.This empowers corporate managers to use money that isn't their own to make their own political statements. This gives some individuals a disproportionate amount of risk-free power to influence policy (which is not so democratic, considering the average citizen needs to spend their own money to engage politically, not investors").

It is for those reasons that the resolution is correct in saying that the Supreme Court's decision is harmful to the election process.
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Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by jeffrey.xia1 5 years ago
Nice copy paste
maybe i'll debate u at wacfl
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