The American Civil Liberties Union, which has traditionally opposed limits on campaign speech, is considering an about-face after last week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Joseph Goldstein reports. "The worst thing you could do – the absolutely worst thing you could do – is transform a civil liberties organization into a liberal political organization," Mr. Goldstein quotes First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams as warning the ACLU board. Of particular interest to FutureOfCapitalism.com readers may be the way advocates of limits on campaign speech use businesses as bogeymen. "The ACLU's version of democracy is from the ground-up," one civil rights lawyer, David Gans, told the ACLU's board, according to Mr. Goldstein's dispatch. "Now Exxon Mobil can spend 2% of its money and blow that all up. The Goldstein dispatch leaves unmentioned the irony that in the Citizens United majority opinion striking down limits, Justice Kennedy cited the ACLU itself as an example of an organization whose speech was unconstitutionally limited by the law the majority struck down: "the following acts would all be felonies under §441b... the American Civil Liberties Union creates a Web site telling the public to vote for a Presidential candidate in light of that candidate's defense of free speech. These prohibitions are classic examples of censorship."
ACLU Mulls Campign Finance Reversal