The First Amendment & The Freedom to Think For Ourselves

Photos © Aditya Mohan | All Rights Reserved. These views are not legal advice but business opinion based on reading some English text written by a set of intelligent people.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, decided on January 21, 2010, stands as a landmark Supreme Court decision under Chief Justice John Roberts. The core issue at hand was whether the free speech clause of the First Amendment could allow the government to limit corporations, including non-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations, from making independent political expenditures. 

First Amendment signing

Freedom to think for ourselves

The Court's ruling was affirmative, asserting that these entities have the same First Amendment rights to free speech as individuals, thus prohibiting the government from restricting their political communications. 

When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

This decision significantly impacted the landscape of political spending, emphasizing the principle that the First Amendment ensures the freedom to think and express oneself, regardless of the speaker's corporate or individual status. This case underscored the Court's commitment to protecting free expression, reaffirming the idea that open, robust, and uninhibited political debate is foundational to democracy.

Moody v. NetChoice

Similar in Moody v. NetChoice where oral arguments were heard on February 26, 2024,  the freedom to think and decide on which social media post individuals should see and how they are moderated are up to corporations and individuals alone; it should not be done by regulations by Texas and Florida that were passed due to the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. 


Further read