In this special report, The National Law Journal examines the legal and political fallout from the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Announced on Jan. 24, the decision, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, sharply divided the court. The ruling, which overturned several years of the Court’s jurisprudence, holds that a ban on corporate expenditures in elections is an unconstitutional chill on legitimate political speech. Since, President Obama and Democrats in Congress have criticized the decision, and public debate continues.

For high court, a rare rebuke
What made President Obama’s State of the Union Address swipe at the Court’s Jan. 21 Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling linger through several news cycles was Justice Samuel Alito Jr.’s reaction to it.
Reformers hope decision kills judge elections
The Citizens United opinion, judicial reform groups reason, may drive more money into judicial races and turn off the public.
Opinion roils dozens of cases
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landscape-altering ruling is already triggering aftershocks in some of the dozens of campaign finance-related lawsuits in federal and state courts.
D.C. Circuit’s first shot at Citizens United
Just six days after the high court ruling, judges skeptical of FEC’s authority to regulate advocacy group donations.

THE CONTROVERSIAL DECISION

Supreme Court overturns corporate campaign spending ban 
In a dramatic upheaval that sharply divided the U.S. Supreme Court, a 5-4 majority ruled that under the First Amendment Congress may not bar corporations and unions from using their own money to make independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates for office.

Olson urged justices to throw out precedent
A crucial moment in the landmark campaign finance case was Citizens United’s decision to hire Ted Olson to argue their case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

COMMENTARY

Beware the fortunetellers 
Citizens United will significantly alter the regulation of campaign spending, but it’s hard to foresee its implications with any real confidence.

A collection of opinions on the opinion
Citizens United set off waves of commentary and legal analysis. We’ve compiled a sample of comments pulled from speeches, blogs, statements, interviews and newspapers.

 Readers react to Obama, Citizens United
The president’s State of the Union remarks provoked a lively conversation among readers of our Blog of Legal Times, where we cover law and lobbying in Washington. Here is a selection of comments made by readers about Citizens United and Obama’s remarks.