In Defense of Citizens United

39 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2013

Date Written: March 29, 2013


Citizens United v. FEC is one of the most reviled decisions of the Supreme Court in recent years. The President of the United States denounced it to the Justices’ faces at his 2011 State of the Union address. His 2008 opponent, John McCain, called it “the worst decision ever.” The Democratic Party is pledged to reverse it by constitutional amendment if necessary. Prominent newspapers attribute to it virtually every excess of the campaign finance system, whether or not the practices were authorized by the decision or would have been lawful even without it. It has become shorthand for corporate domination of politics. It has few defenders among legal scholars. I believe it is time for a more balanced evaluation.

Suggested Citation

McConnell, Michael W., In Defense of Citizens United (March 29, 2013). Yale Law Journal, Vol. 123, No. 2013, Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 2241682, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. McConnell (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-723-4039 (Phone)
650-723-4669 (Fax)


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