Articles & Publications

Citizens United? Evaluating the 2012 Presidential Election in a Super-PAC World

Posted November 6, 2012 by Daniel P. Dozier in Articles & Publications, The Law and Other Musings

The 2012 presidential election has been the most expensive to date. The whopping $2 billion that has been spent by both campaigns can be partially attributed to the Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission decision by the Supreme Court.

This decision, as many of you know, held that corporations and labor unions have a First Amendment right to make independent expenditures that advocate election or defeat of candidates in certain federal elections.

This has led to the creation of "Super-PACs" that can spend an unlimited about of money in federal elections. This has led to a very large increase in paid media advertising. Many believe our campaign finance system is broken.

The American Bar Association Section on Individual Rights and Responsibility is holding a panel discussion to consider the effects of Citizens United on the 2012 presidential election. Free-speech proponents, proponents of campaign donation regulation and election law practitioners will meet to discuss the lessons learned from this election and how campaign finance has changed. The legal ramifications of Citizens United, such as the potential effects of shareholder litigation challenging campaign expenditures, will also be discussed.

Campaign finance is a critical issue. This panel is a timely opportunity for those in the DC area to hear civil discourse about an interesting subject. It is free, unless you are requesting CLE credit, in which case it costs $25.

To register for CLE credit, email the Section at For more information, contact Patrice Payne at (202) 662-1030.