Supreme Court Hands Down Key Campaign Finance Decision– Repeals Unconstitutional Restrictions on Political Speech

Friday, January 22, 2010
NRA praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that removed unconstitutional restrictions on NRA’s ability to speak freely at election time.

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone had said during the original debate over this legislation that it was his intention to silence groups like NRA.  While the author of this measure had singled out NRA, this law delivered a clear message to all American citizens: “Keep your mouths shut and stay out of our political debates.”

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, said, “This ruling is a victory for anyone who believes that the First Amendment applies to each and every one of us.  The majesty of free speech is that any American can roll out of bed and speak as freely as The New York Times, NBC or politicians.  This is a defeat for arrogant elitists who wanted to carve out free speech as a privilege for themselves and deny it to the rest of us; and for those who believed that speech had a dollar value and should be treated and regulated like currency, and not a freedom.  Today’s decision reaffirms that the Bill of Rights was written for every American and it will amplify the voice of average citizens who want their voices heard.”

The case originally centered on the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) denial of Citizens United’s attempt to broadcast a film about Hillary Clinton through on-demand cable services in January 2008, but had broader implications in protecting the First Amendment rights of organizations like NRA during elections.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox, said, “This decision today returns sanity to our political system.  The First Amendment does not allow Congress to make laws denying Americans the right to speak out on issues, the right to assemble or organize on public policy issues, or the right to petition our government for redress of grievances.”

NRA-ILA has been in the forefront of defending the First Amendment so we can protect the Second Amendment.  This ruling is clearly a victory for our continuing efforts to educate voters on where politicians stand on our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Copyright 2010, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
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