Citizens United, public health, and democracy: The Supreme Court ruling, its implications, and proposed action

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5 Scopus citations


The 2010 US Supreme Court Citizens United v Federal Election Commission 130 US 876 (2010) case concerned the plans of a nonprofit organization to distribute a film about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The Court ruled that prohibiting corporate independent expenditures for advocacy advertising during election campaigns unconstitutionally inhibits free speech. Corporations can now make unlimited contributions to election advocacy advertising directly from the corporate treasury. Candidates who favor public health positions may be subjected to corporate opposition advertising. Citizen groups and legislators have proposed remedies to ameliorate the effects of the Court's ruling. The public health field needs to apply its expertise, in collaboration with others, to work to reduce the disproportionate influence of corporate political speech on health policy and democracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1179
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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