Latest Updates

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation filed an Amicus Brief to reinstate President Trump's Immigration Order

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation joined with several other conservative organizations in filing an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking the court to empanel an 11 judge en banc panel to rehear arguments on reinstating President Trump’s immigration order.

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation join Amicus Brief in 9th Circuit to rehear arguments re: Pre... by Citizens United on Scribd


Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation join amicus brief in support of President Trump’s immigration order

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation join amicus brief in support of President Trump’s immigration order

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation join amicus brief in support of President Trump's immigratio... by Citizens United on Scribd


Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation join amicus brief in Americans For Prosperity Foundation v. Xavier Becerra.

Similar to the New York Attorney General, the California Attorney General is demanding that non-profit organization operating in California disclosure the names, addresses and contribution amounts of their most valuable donors to his office.  The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently enjoined the California Attorney General from imposing the disclosure obligation on Americans for Prosperity Foundation as a violation of the group’s free speech and associational rights.  The Attorney General has appealed that decision to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation have joined forces with the Free Speech Defense & Education Fund and numerous other entities in filing an amicus curiae brief supporting Americans for Prosperity Foundation before the 9th Circuit.

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation join amicus brief in Americans For Prosperity Foundation v.... by Citizens United on Scribd


Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation filed their opening brief with the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Summary Description: Citizens United v. Schneiderman

2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal Opening Brief

On Friday, January 6, 2017, Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation filed their opening brief with the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York in Citizens United v. Schneiderman. The case involves a constitutional challenge to the New York Attorney General’s recently decreed policy requiring non-profit organizations soliciting contributions in New York to provide his Charity’s Bureau with a list of their top donors on an annual basis.

In their Brief, Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation challenge the dismissal of their case by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. The brief contends the District Court committed multiple errors in dismissing the case, including:

  • Imposing a heighten pleading standard in contravention of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and binding Supreme Court precedent for litigation challenging unconstitutional governmental action;
  • Shifting the burden of proving the disclosure policy unconstitutional to the challengers of the policy despite decades of Supreme Court precedent emphasizing that the government bears the burden of proof in First Amendment cases involving prior restraints on freedom of speech;
  • Ruling sua sponte (i.e. out of the blue with no briefing or argument on the issue) that the organizations’ due process claims are not ripe for adjudication despite the Attorney General’s written threat to fine the organizations’ if they do not comply with the donor disclosure policy;
  • Refusing to recognize that New York’s donor disclosure policy is preempted by federal law protecting the names and addresses of donors from public disclosure; and
  • Failing to strike down New York’s charitable solicitation licensing scheme as it relates to Citizens United despite the fact that New York law narrowly defines a charitable organization in a way that excludes advocacy organizations such as Citizens United.

Citizens United v. Schneiderman - 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal Opening Brief by Citizens United on Scribd


Politico: Citizens United To Sue Over Donor Info

The conservative group Citizens United says it is suing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over his interpretation of how much information the organization is legally obliged to disclose about its donors.

Citizens United President David Bossie said the legal challenge would be filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court and would be on behalf of the group and an affiliate, the Citizens United Foundation.

Citizens United was the plaintiff in the landmark 2010 Supreme Court case that permitted unlimited independent corporate and union spending on elections.

Read more at Politico here.


Citizens United Files Suit Against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Washington, DC -- Citizens United President David N. Bossie released the following statement in regards to a lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. You can read a summary of the case here.

“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s constitutional overreach needs to be addressed in a court of law,” said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United. “The First Amendment is under attack by the New York Attorney General and, as we did with the Federal Election Commission, Citizens United will fight for our rights set forth by the U.S. Constitution. With Don McGahn, who was the former FEC Chairman, as our lead attorney – I have full faith that we will prevail and right this injustice foisted upon Americans by the New York Attorney General.”

The lawsuit challenges Schneiderman’s demand that Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation file unredacted copies of their confidential lists of donors with the New York State Charities Bureau, as requirement for lawful solicitation of contributions for charitable purposes in New York. More specifically, the suit challenges Schneiderman’s interpretation of a state regulation, which he contends requires non-profit organizations soliciting contributions in New York to file a complete copy of their IRS Form 990 Schedule B, which lists the names, addresses and contribution amounts of top donors.


McCutcheon v. FEC Carries On Citizens United’s Legacy of Protecting Political Speech

In what many are calling the biggest ruling on campaign finance since the landmark 2010 Citizens United case, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck down laws limiting the total amount of money individuals can donate to federal candidates, political committees, and political parties.

Chief Justice John Roberts led the charge in the 5-4 decision, McCutcheon v. FEC, finding that the $123,200 cap on an individual’s donations to candidates and committees, per two-year election cycle, violated the First Amendment. (Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito signed on to C.J. Roberts’ opinion, with Justice Thomas agreeing in a separate concurrence that the limit should be invalidated.)

Relaying that First Amendment jurisprudence protects an individual’s right of political association via campaign contributions, Roberts determined that the cap failed the scrutiny test applicable to laws restricting political speech. Such restrictions are constitutional only if ‘“the State demonstrates a sufficiently important interest and employs means closely drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgment of associational freedoms,”’ McCutcheon, No. 12-536, slip op. at 8 (Apr. 2, 2014) (quoting Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 25 (1976)).

The Court agreed that the aggregate limit imposed a burden on free speech, since it prohibited an individual from contributing the maximum base amount to 10 or more candidates (within the $123,200 cap, only $48,600 can go to candidates). It surmised, “The Government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.” Id. at 15. Therefore, a thorough examination of the government’s motives in keeping these limits was needed.

Roberts affirmed that Supreme Court precedent “has identified only one legitimate government interest for restricting campaign finances: preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption,” id. at 18, and that corruption must be of the quid pro quo variety, id. at 19. (For example, contributing money to an officeholder directly in exchange for control of the officerholder’s official duties). Moreover, the Court cited Citizens United in proclaiming, “because the Government’s interest in preventing the appearance of corruption is equally confined to the appearance of quid pro quo corruption, the Government may not seek to limit the appearance of mere influence or access.” Id.

The opinion expressed difficulty understanding how the government could argue that contributing the maximum base amount ($5,200) to 9 candidates prevented quid pro quo corruption, yet contributing the same maximum amount to 10 candidates encouraged such corruption. Id. at 21-22. Thus, the government could only justify the aggregate limits by showing they “prevent circumvention of [these] base limits.” Id. at 22.

However, the Court found that the government could not even prove the legitimacy of this purpose. It determined that numerous rules regulating antiproliferation and earmarking already prevent wealthy donors from directly channeling money given to outside groups to candidates in order to circumvent and exceed base limits to candidates. Id. at 23. For example, such a donor giving to a noncandidate PAC “cannot retain control over his contribution [. . .], direct his money ‘in any way’ to [a particular candidate], or even imply that he would like his money to be recontributed [to a particular candidate].” Id. at 23 (citing numerous FEC regulations). As with this example, all the possible “corruption” issues suggested by the government and the dissent that would occur absent aggregate limits are already illegal or incredibly implausible. Id. at 28.

Finally, the Court concluded that the aggregate limit was not “closely drawn” to both achieve its purpose of preventing circumvention and protect First Amendment freedoms. Id. at 30. For instance, the Court pointed to evidence showing that “candidates who receive campaign contributions spend most of the money on themselves, rather than passing along donations to other candidates.” Id. at 32. Additionally the Court highlighted evidence showing that not even political parties or committees give vast amounts of money directly to candidates. Id. at 31. Consequently, the Court determined “the indiscriminate ban on all contributions above the aggregate limits is disproportionate to the Government’s interest in preventing circumvention.” Id. at 32. Furthermore, the Court offered that a less restrictive approach to solve this problem would be to, for example, limit transfers between political committees and candidates. Id. at 33. Thus there was little need for such overreaching aggregation limits.

In closing, the Court asserted that the aggregate limits on campaign donations “intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise ‘the most fundamental First Amendment activities.”’ Id. at 40 (citing Buckley, 424 U.S. at 14). We here at Citizens United could not agree more, and we are proud that our 2010 Supreme Court case continues to play such an important role in advancing freedom of speech for all Americans.


Public Integrity – Next up: ‘Citizens United v. IRS’?

Four years ago, the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision remade the rules for how political campaigns are waged.

Could a Citizens United v. Internal Revenue Service case be next?

Yes, says David Bossie, the outspoken president of Citizens United — if the IRS enacts plans to restrict how certain tax-exempt nonprofit groups spend their money on politicking, as the agency says it may do.

"I can commit with certitude that Citizens United will not sit by while any government agency tries to violate our 1st Amendment rights," Bossie told the Center for Public Integrity today. "We have a proven track record of winning, and we're not afraid to take the fight to them. You'll see a Citizens United v. IRS."

Read more at Public Integrity here.


Citizens United Calls On IRS To Abolish All Restrictions on 501(c)(4) Political Spending

Washington, DC -- Citizens United filed comprehensive comments opposing the oppressive regulations proposed by President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service. You can view the full filing here. You can also view an outline of the filing here.

“The ongoing IRS scandal first reported last year does not give President Obama’s IRS the authority to change the rules to justify the initial crime,” said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United. “These comments call on the IRS to lift ALL restrictions concerning 501(c)(4) spending so that political speech is not hindered by an overbearing governmental agency that employs Nixonian tactics against the American people.

“Ever since Citizens United’s landmark victory for free speech at the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama’s stated goal has always been to use every lever of government to thwart political speech. From the failed attempts to pass the DISCLOSE Act, to now using the IRS like a Chicago political hit squad, President Obama and other liberals want to chill the First Amendment so that any dissenting views to the Obama agenda are snuffed out. As we have done in the past in Citizens United v. FEC, Citizens United is prepared to litigate any rules changes that infringes on the rights of Americans to speak freely about the political process.”


Breitbart.com - New Obamacare Report: The Nightmare Has Just Begun

Conservatives don’t just oppose Obamacare as a matter of policy – we oppose it as a matter of principle. The federal government was not designed to function as a central planner for any segment of the U.S. economy, much less the whopping one-sixth of it driven by health care.

Read more at Breitbart.com here.


  You are viewing Page: 1 of 4
    

© 2013 - Citizens United Foundation - 202-547-5420
1006 Pennsylvania Ave SE - Washington, DC 20003

Privacy Policy