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Tipsheet

John McCain Whines About Citizens United Ruling and Calls Supreme Court "Arrogant"

Remember when President Obama slammed the Supreme Court in front of the world during his 2010 State of the Union address for their 2009 Citizens United ruling? Well it looks like Sen. John McCain would have done the same. Yesterday on Meet the Press, McCain called the Supreme Court "uninformed, arrogant and naive" while warning of political "scandals" as a result of the ruling.

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MSNBC also used the Citizens United ruling as a punching bag after they lost the Wisconsin recall election to weeks ago.

I'm wondering if John McCain believes citizens acting through corporations and unions to send a political message are also "arrogant" for wanting to exercise their First Amendment Right.

One year ago today, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It upheld the First Amendment rights of individuals acting through corporations and labor unions to participate in our political process, and it struck down an oppressive thicket of statutes restricting - and even criminalizing - their political speech.

The case arose in 2007, when Citizens United, a grass-roots membership organization, sought to broadcast a film critical of Hillary Clinton, then a candidate for president. The Federal Election Commission deemed the film too critical to be shown in the weeks before an election; if Citizens United had broadcast it, its officers would have been subject to prosecution and potential imprisonment for up to five years. The Supreme Court struck down this prohibition of corporate and labor union election-time speech about candidates as a violation of the First Amendment. To the court's majority, it was "stranger than fiction for our Government to make . . . political speech a crime."

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