James Bopp’s Share In End Citizens United (ECU) Fight

In 2008, James Bopp sought legal justice for Citizens United. This was after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) stopped the Citizen United from airing a film on Hillary Clinton. The movie was not to be aired during the Democratic primary for the presidential seat since it would have been an advertisement that didn’t identify its sponsors. The Film portrays Hillary not only as a ruthless political schemer; it also tags her as a European socialist. Featured in the movie is Kathleen Wiley who speaks of her assault experience in the White House. Bopp’s arguments before a panel of three judges were that the 90-minute movie was no different from other 60 minutes movies and that First Amendment protection should be given to those who created it. Judge Royce Lambert’s laughter rules out his arguments; he said that a 60-minute ad campaign could not compare to one that is 30 minutes longer.

This ruling lasted no more than two years, in 2010; it was reversed by Supreme Court. James Bopp’s arguments were adopted, a move that overturned over a century of campaign-finance law. The Supreme Court reasoned that campaigns are a form of speech. Based on that reasoning, it is also protected by the First Amendment protection, and this protection extends even to corporations. In the Constitution, corporations are considered as individuals for many different reasons, and they deserve the First Amendment protection as much as any average voter does. It would, therefore, be against the constitution, restricting them from spending their money towards supporting or beating certain candidates.

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Citizens United is James Bopp’s result of years of hard work, a nonprofit conservative that aims at dealing with nation’s regulations on campaign-finance. It is from this group’s name that the End Citizens United arose (ECU). The ECU, a political action committee, has managed – within the first three months of this year- $4million. The group projects to gather up to $35million by next year, before the congressional elections. The group, according to Tiffany Muller ECU’s president, has received contributions from about 100k people and out of the hundred thousand; forty thousand are first time donors.

These donors are against the rigging they feel is going on in favor of those with wealth. By donating they choose to fight back by supporting ECU’s aim of electing candidates to champion reforms in campaign-finance laws. Trump’s win in the presidential race brought fury among Democrats, ECU, therefore, encouraged donors to support Jon Ossoff’s campaign; Jon is a first-time political candidate and a Democrat. The group accepts donations from unions and corporates too. The ECU accepts individual donations too, but they limit the donation amount to $5000 per person. Last year, ECU was ranked top democratic-aligned group spender.

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