Citizens Not United: The Lack of Stockholder Voluntariness in Corporate Political Speech
7 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2012
Date Written: 2009
As the Supreme Court reconsiders prior decisions upholding limits on corporate electioneering from general funds, this Essay suggests that the longstanding concern about the lack of stockholder assent to corporate political speech is more compelling than ever. Patterns of U.S. stockholding have significantly changed in the past several decades so as to heighten the concern and caution against a broad overruling of precedents. Stockholders' ability to sell their securities or pursue a derivative action, and other means of "corporate democracy," do not alleviate the concern. A broad decision in favor of Citizens United could leave even stockholders who carefully screen and monitor their investments at risk of having money they invested used for political advocacy they oppose.
Keywords: Citizens United, corporate political speech, corporate political spending, corporate speech, shareholder voluntariness, stockholder voluntariness, Bellotti
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