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Citizens United

The Citizens United decision unleashed unprecedented influence of money in politics. We’re documenting the effects of big money in our political system and drafting corrective legislation.


In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corpor­a­tions and others have a First Amend­ment right to raise and spend unlim­ited money on elec­tions. Few modern Supreme Court decisions have received as much public atten­tion, or back­lash, as Citizens United v. FEC. The U.S. has since seen a surge in megadonors and a rise in dark money, or undis­closed campaign dona­tions. A tiny sliver of Amer­ic­ans now wield more power than at any time since Water­gate, too often at the expense of ordin­ary citizens whose needs are not prior­it­ized. 

Over the long term, Citizens United and the Supreme Court’s other harm­ful campaign finance rulings must be over­turned. To this end, the Bren­nan Center docu­ments the harm­ful effects of big money in polit­ics and works to mobil­ize schol­ars and activ­ists around legal prin­ciples that allow all Amer­ic­ans’ voices to be heard. Where possible we also work with poli­cy­makers and activ­ists to draft and enact correct­ive legis­la­tion to blunt the worst effects of the court’s rulings.

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