HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Justice Stevens on Citizens United

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens blasted the Court's Citizens United ruling in a speech on Wednesday. HuffPost's Mike Sacks reports, "In a speech at the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service, Stevens challenged his former colleagues to defend Alito's 'not true' moment by reconciling the court's sweeping language in Citizens United that the First Amendment 'generally prohibits the suppression of political speech based on the speaker's identity,' with its subsequent decision -- made without briefing, argument, or written opinion -- to uphold a ban on campaign spending by non-citizens. Alito's reaction, Stevens said, 'persuade[s] me that that in due course it will be necessary for the court to issue an opinion explicitly crafting an exception that will create a crack in the foundation of the Citizens United majority opinion.' In doing so, he continued, 'it will be necessary to explain why the First Amendment provides greater protection to the campaign speech of some non-voters' -- that is, domestic corporations -- 'than to that of other non-voters' such as the Canadian Harvard Law School graduate who remains barred from making campaign contributions. ...'I think it is likely that when the court begins to spell out which categories of non-voters should receive the same protections as the not-for-profit Citizens United advocacy group, it will not only exclude terrorist organizations and foreign agents, but also all corporations owned or controlled by non-citizens, and possibly even those in which non-citizens have a substantial interest,' Stevens said, referencing a case in which he joined the Citizens United majority to hold that speech made or funded by terrorist groups have no First Amendment protection. 'Where that line will actually be drawn will depend on an exercise of judgment by the majority of members of the court, rather than on any proposition of law identified in the Citizens United majority opinion.'"

The Stevens speech comes right before the Court will consider the Montana challenge to Citizens United. Roll Call's Eliza Newlin Carney writes that that challenge has the potential to make Citizens United even worse in the eyes of campaign finance reformers, "The justices could reverse course from Citizens United and embrace new political money restrictions, as reformers argue they should. But the high court also could opt to deregulate the system further, law professor Richard Hasen said. That would leave Citizens United opponents worse off than they are today. For example, the court might decide to throw out one of the few remaining rules on the books, such as the existing limits on contributions to parties and candidates. 'You’ve got people in the campaign finance reform community pushing for a hearing, as though that’s likely to get the court to reconsider Citizens United,' said Hasen, a professor of law and politics at the University of California-Irvine. 'Not only do I think that’s a long shot — because I don’t see any evidence that the court majority has changed its position on this — I also think it could make things worse.'

Another FEC deadlock appears imminent as the commission has released two opposing draft advisory opinions (PDF) for a request submitted by the American Future Fund. The conservative non-profit asked what kind of ads they could run to avoid the "electioneering communications" label that would require donor disclosure in the wake of the Van Hollen v. FEC ruling. One FEC draft opinion states that the eight propsed ads were all acceptable and would not be legally considered "electioneering communications." The other states that all but one ad would be considered "electioneering communications." Bloomberg reports that the Obama campaign has asked the commission to reject the request from the American Future Fund.

The Sunlight Foundation reports that 16 Democratic super PAC donors have visited the White House.

The Super PAC donor motto: With great power comes no responsibility. Politico reports.

The Chamber of Commerce will alter its ads to be independent expenditures to avoid the "electioneering communication" label that will now require disclosure of donor names. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, whose court challenge led to the new disclosure requirements for "electioneering communications," has said that he will challenge the lack of disclosure for independent expenditures too.

Newt Gingrich bemoans super PAC influence after receiving tons of super PAC support during his debt-ridden presidential bid.

Some guy named John Edwards escaped guilty verdicts in a campaign finance-related trial today. Let us never think of him again.


Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. Send your submissions to paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Committee: American Bridge 21st Century
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Romney's Energy Loan Hyporcisy Continues"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Republican National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Obama's Failed Investments: Warning and Red Flags"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Republican National Committee
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Broken Promises: Romney's Massachusetts Record"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: National Republican Congressional Committee
Spot: "If Washington Was Listening"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Scott Walker for Governor
Candidate Opposed: Tom Barrett
Spot: "Truthful"
Market: Wisconsin.
Buy: Undisclosed.


These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.

Presidential Race:
Mitt Romney (R), $7,327,516 to support, $13,972,296 to oppose. (Oppose: +$1,589,579)
Barack Obama (D), $501,493 to support, $1,291,098 to oppose. (Support: +$9,763)

Most Outside Spending for Congressional Candidates:
TX-Senate: Ted Cruz (R), $827,640 to support, $2,301,841 to oppose.
TX-Senate: David Dewhurst (R), $363,000 to support, $2,481,715 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Richard Mourdock (R), $1,423,990 to support, $633,609 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Dick Lugar (R), $208,628 to support, $1,671,841 to oppose.
OR-01: Rob Cornilles (R), $98,051 to support, $1,219,148 to oppose.


Priorities USA Action, $15,000 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
American Crossroads, $33,084 to support Jesse Kelly for Congress in Arizona's 8th District.
Jobs Opportunity and Freedom PAC, $4,257 to support Brad Mitzelfelt for Congress in California's 8th District.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, $9,763 to support Barack Obama for President.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, $1,589,579 to oppose Mitt Romney for President.
National Right to Life Action Fund, $16,599 to oppose Barack Obama for President.
Women Vote!, $10,283 to support Michele Lujan Grisham for Congress in New Mexico's 1st District.
Jobs Opportunity and Freedom PAC, $12,971 to oppose Paul Cook for Congress in California's 8th District.
Humane Society Legislative Fund, $20,037 to support Joe Seng for Congress in Iowa's 2nd District.
House Majority PAC, $21,931 to oppose Linda Parks for Congress in California's 26th District.
House Majority PAC, $176,304 to support Julia Brownley for Congress in California's 26th District.
Americans for Accountability in Leadership, $12,825 to support Kim Vann for Congress in California's 3rd District.


American Psychological Association Practice Organization PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Craig Engle.
Larry and Charmaine's Excellent Non-Connected Best Ever SuperPAC, Bristow, Va., Treasurer: Larry Zilliox. (Super PAC)
Dagny PAC, Casper, Wyo., Treasurer: Bill Maiers. (Leadership PAC: Cynthia Lummis)
A Responsible Future, Hope, Kan., Treasurer: Steven Paul Lockhart. (Super PAC)
Behind Open Doors, Holladay, Utah, Treasurer: Seth Konopasek.
Restore The America Dream, Los Angeles, Calif., Treasurer: Walter D. Edwards. (Super PAC)
Pareto PAC, Greenville, Ohio, Treasurer: Michael A. Rieman.

Send tips, hints, submissions, rumors to HuffPost Fundrace at paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community