A new study, “The Business of American Democracy: Citizens United, Independent Spending and Elections,” analyzes state legislative elections that have occurred since the decision and finds that "Citizens United v. FEC was associated with a six percentage-point increase in the likelihood that a Republican candidate would win a state legislative race."
The authors are quick to attribute this Citizens United bump to corporations exercising their First Amendment rights and making expenditures that benefit Republicans, while unions have failed to increase their spending on behalf of Democrats. Don’t forget that for decades unions have had an ability to invest in elections, while corporations have been largely restricted. The Citizens United decision ensured that any speaker--whether an individual, small business, large corporation, or labor union--had a First Amendment right to engage in political speech.
Ultimately, this study shows that the liberals who have spent the past few years demonizing the decision and calling for constitutional amendments to curtail political speech have missed the point and missed the boat. I have no doubt that they’ll seize on this study as a reason to demand more regulation of speech. Certainly, as liberal senators like Chuck Schumer, Patrick Leahy, and Dick Durban plod forward with their short-sighted attempt to amend the Constitution, they will inevitably cite this study as evidence of the need to restrict the First Amendment.
I say to those liberals hell-bent on restricting speech: rather than trying to silence voices and viewpoints you disagree with, join the debate.