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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC has been called both a broadside assault on democracy and a victory for free speech. Both extremes exaggerate the importance of the case. On the one hand, the case denied Congress’s ongoing attempt to curtail corporate domination of elections. On the other hand, the very assumption that the pre-Citizens United campaign finance regime had accomplished its stated goals of reducing corruption or its appearance is flawed. As a result of judicially imposed limitations on the federal campaign finance laws, corporations have been allowed to engage in all but unfettered electioneering since the 1970s. Reform proponents should take advantage of a unique opportunity in history to marshal popular sentiment and create a new model of public access and accountability in the Internet age. This Note proposes a coding requirement in political advertisements that will allow viewers to easily identify a message’s funding source.

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