FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelly Ceballos
January 21, 2010 202-263-1331

CITIZENS UNITED DECISION SETS OFF REVOLUTION IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE
Supreme Court Erred, Decision Undermines Basic Pillar of American Democracy

Washington, DC –The following is a statement by Mary G. Wilson, national president of the League of Women Voters on the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.   The League filed an amicus brief in this case:

“The Supreme Court has made a tragic mistake.  Their decision announced today in Citizens United v. FEC is constitutionally irresponsible and will surely bring about an anti-democratic revolution in how we finance elections in this country.  Today, basic pillars of American democracy have been undermined – that elections should not be corrupted by vast corporate wealth and that the voters should be at the center of our democratic system. 

  "Justice Stevens had it right when he said, in his dissent, ‘The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.’

“In creating a new constitutional right for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of their shareholder’s money to determine the outcome in candidate elections, the Court has unleashed into our elections tremendous sums of money from for-profit corporations that cannot possibly be matched in quantity by contributions from ordinary citizens.  The only possible outcome of this is that big money and special interests will have an even tighter grip on our democracy.

“Congress and the President enacted campaign finance laws over a series of decades for a reason – to protect our democracy from the perverse influence of big money in our elections. In making this decision, the Court has ignored the best interests of the American public and our representative form of government.” 

Reporters wishing to speak with Ms. Wilson should contact Kelly Ceballos at kceballos@lwv.org or 202-263-1331.

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.