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Citizens United

Statement from David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United:

“Since Justice Stevens’ retirement announcement and again in his remarks this morning, President Obama has signaled that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission would be a litmus test for his nominee.  Introducing Elena Kagan today, President Obama mentioned no other decision and applauded her for choosing CU v. FEC to be her first argument as Solicitor General, making it clear that her participation in that case was a significant factor in his decision to nominate her to the Supreme Court.

“In Elena Kagan, President Obama has found a nominee whose views on the First Amendment are at worst disqualifying and at least should be questioned rigorously.  During the second round of oral arguments in CU v. FEC in September of 2009, Solicitor General Kagan argued that a statute that, by her own admission, banned books was not ‘overbroad,’ and that pamphlets produced with corporate funds could be censored because they are ‘classic electioneering.’  (Read the full exchange here)

“Authors and pamphleteers from Thomas Paine to Hamilton, Madison, and Jay writing as Publius  were critical to the founding of this country.  The founders, Madison in particular, recognized the danger inherent in allowing the government to regulate what could or could not be said about it and wrote the First Amendment to guard against exactly the kind of government censorship that Solicitor General Kagan advocated for in Citizens United.

“Given President Obama’s reliance on her role in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and the essential importance of the First Amendment to American democracy, I urge the Senate to reject Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  Every American has a fundamental right to speak out for or against their elected representatives without fear of reprisal, and a nominee who does not respect that right has no business on our nation’s highest court.”