Liberals Oppose Citizens United . . . Except When They Don’t
Usually, the mere mention of Citizens United v. FEC is enough to send liberals into fits of flabbergasted fury. But a little over two years after President Obama famously and unjustly chastised Supreme Court justices for the ruling, a pro-abortion PAC in his home state is citing it as authority, as it contests the state’s campaign-finance regime in federal court.
The group, which has direct ties to current Illinois governor and Democrat Pat Quinn, asserted the Rod Blagojevich-inspired laws violate their First Amendment rights by unconstitutionally limiting their ability to disseminate political speech. Under the state’s current structure, PACs cannot receive more than $10,000 dollars from individuals or $20,000 dollars from corporations or unions per year.
The PAC’s attorney declared that Citizens United—the landmark free-speech case decided in 2010—has “changed the rules of the game.” And its CEO claimed current donor-contribution limits force the group to “run campaigns with one hand tied behind our back.”
The lawsuit follows a similar and successful campaign-finance challenge in Wisconsin. Last December, the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of a pro-life PAC, Wisconsin Right to Life, which contested a comparable speech-restricting state law. That law limited the amount individuals could contribute to state and local parties, political candidates, and PACs to a total of $10,000 per year.
The lawsuit also comes on the heels of Supreme Court action in the recent Montana campaign- finance case, which the RNLA previously discussed here. Last Friday, the Court granted a stay that allows temporary unlimited political spending by corporations and unions pending final Court action, which could include a summary reversal or full review.