Elections and Campaign Court Cases

On March 18, 2019, in Assignments, by lwaddell

Here are series of Supreme Court cases that will be helpful in your studies.  You will want to complete a summary in your own words of each case.  Include the outcome, the Constitutional point that is being argued and the impact of the case.  This assignment is due at the beginning of the next class period.

Buckley v Valeo (1976)
Bush v Gore (2000)
McConnell v FEC (2003)
Citizens United v FEC (2009)

Answer the following questions for Citizens United. These are to be done on a separate sheet.

Comprehension and Critical Thinking Questions

1. What were the facts of the case in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)?
2. How did the Court rule?
3. What was the Court’s reasoning for its decision?
4. In his dissent, Justice Stevens asserted, “In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters….Like all other natural persons, every shareholder of every corporation remains entirely free…to do however much electioneering she pleases outside of the corporate form.” How would you respond to this statement?
5. Do you agree with the Court’s ruling? What is your constitutional reasoning?


President Obama was critical of the Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in his State of the Union Address.

1. How would you respond to the president’s statement?
2. What resources would you use to support your response?

The president said:

“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections. Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”

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