Washington Times: Eight years after Obama’s unusual State of the Union attack, Citizens United endures (In the News)

Washington Times: Eight years after Obama’s unusual State of the Union attack, Citizens United endures

By James Varney

None of the analysts interviewed by The Washington Times believes Citizens United is in any near-term jeopardy. The 2016 election of Donald Trump and his appointment of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch has probably cemented the decision…

That opinion is shared by most analysts, including Bradley Smith, a legal scholar and the chairman and founder of the Institute for Free Speech.

His group was involved with SpeechNow v. FEC, a case that came before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in an en banc hearing right on the heels of Citizens United…

Among outside spending in federal elections, the “dark money” whose sources aren’t fully disclosed accounts for a good chunk, but when that is put into the total spending column it amounts to less than 4 percent, Mr. Smith said…

“There’s been some amount of ‘dark money’ around always, and it can be a pejorative term,” Mr. Smith said. He pointed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the biggest players. “Sure, voters may not know every group that contributes to the Chamber of Commerce, but it’s not like, ‘Oh, the Chamber of Commerce! What’s their agenda?’ Voters have a pretty good idea what it is about.

“I think they’ve been good for the system overall,” Mr. Smith concluded of the Citizens United and other rulings. “None of the catastrophe situations opponents wailed would come about have come about, and there have been a lot of competitive races.”

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.