North Dakota Law Review

First Page


Last Page



Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010)In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the United States Supreme Court lifted a decades-long ban on independent corporate political expenditures. An ideologically-divided Court delivered a 5-4 split decision overturning Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and part of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, ruling the provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that prohibited all independent expenditures made by corporations, particularly those in support or opposition of a candidate, is a violation of the First Amendment. The Court ruled further, however, that the disclosure and disclaimer provisions of the Act did not violate the First Amendment, but served the public by providing information. Currently, the North Dakota Century Code bars a corporation from making a direct contribution to aid any candidate for public office or for any political purpose—a rule that will be significantly impacted, if not repealed, by the Citizens United decision. In North Dakota, the Citizens United decision will likely have a considerable impact on the role of corporations in future elections.

Included in

Law Commons