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John Samples and Ilya Shapiro: Free Speech for All – Cato Institute
Posted By Jacob Laksin On January 22, 2010 @ 12:18 pm In Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Will the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision destroy American democracy? You might think so given the responses of its critics. The Citizens United decision, far from signaling the fall of the republic, strengthens the First Amendment and freedom of speech.Let’s start with the facts of the case. Citizens United, a nonprofit political advocacy group, produced a film called “Hillary: The Movie” about the current Secretary of State, who at the time was a presidential candidate. The movie did not reflect well on Ms. Clinton but did not explicitly advocate her defeat in the 2008 presidential contest. Citizens United planned to show the film in theatres, sell it as a DVD, and make it available on-demand on cable TV. The group also planned to run ads marketing the movie.What could be the problem with Citizens United’s plans? Supporters of Hillary Clinton would not like the movie, but the First Amendment protects all speech, especially criticism of powerful political figures.
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