The Consequences of Citizens United: What Do the Lawyers Say?

35 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2018 Last revised: 10 Apr 2018

Ann Southworth

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: March 9, 2018

Abstract

Drawing on confidential interviews with thirty-one lawyers who participated in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission as counsel for parties and amici, this essay explores what the lawyers say about how the decision has affected the political process. It shows that lawyers on opposing sides of the case generally agree about the direct consequences of the decision but strongly disagree about its broader implications and what lessons the public should draw. Their competing perspectives show not only differences in how the lawyers deploy language and frames to advance their clients’ positions but also a deep divide in their worldviews, reflecting the contrasting perspectives of the polarized elites of which the lawyers are a part.

Suggested Citation

Southworth, Ann, The Consequences of Citizens United: What Do the Lawyers Say? (March 9, 2018). Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 93, No. 2, 2018, Forthcoming; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2018-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3137211

Ann Southworth (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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