Big Money and the Right to Free Speech

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In 1907, trust-busting President Teddy Roosevelt persuaded Congress to ban corporations from contributing to political campaigns. Today, three weeks before its next session is scheduled to open -- with Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the bench for the first time, the US Supreme Court heard a case that could reverse more than 100 years of finance laws that now cover unions as well as corporations. Last year, the Federal Elections Commission banned the broadcast of the video Hillary: The Movie because it was funded by a corporation. Today's unusual meeting was called for arguments on whether the ban on corporate contributions violates the constitutional right to free speech. The ACLU and the National Rifle Association advocate letting them spend, in the interests of unlimited free speech. Democrat Russ Feingold and Republican John McCain warn that a flood of money will drown the voices of ordinary citizens.


Joan Biskupic - CNN legal analyst, author and Supreme Court biographer; - @JoanBiskupic, Bradley Smith - Center for Competitive Politics - @CommishSmith, Rick Hasen - professor of Law at UC Irvine, author of “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy” - @rickhasen, Dave Levinthal - Center for Public Integrity - @davelevinthal

Warren Olney

Sonya Geis, Andrea Brody