SPEECHNOW.ORG Decision begins Legacy of Activist Citizens united Ruling & trumpets Need For Legislative reforms: Statement of Paul S. Ryan, Associate Legal Counsel


The decision by the DC Circuit in SpeechNow.org to allow unlimited contributions to political committees to make independent expenditures demonstrates a judicial lack of understanding of the realities of the way corruption threatens our elections. This decision, and the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court this term allowing corporate independent political expenditures, simply ignore history and the reality that independent expenditures can and do corrupt, buy access to, and curry favor with Members of Congress, and residents of the White House. To hold that the only form of true corruption is the literal quid pro quo of a bribe for a vote is simply untethered from political reality.


While we are disappointed in this decision, we do welcome the DC Circuit's strong endorsement of the requirements that groups seeking to influence elections register as political committees and regularly report and disclose their donors. This is obviously of enormous importance, so that deep pocketed interests will not be able to anonymously spend millions on their candidate attack ads.