Latest News |
(See all)

Press Releases

In Case You Missed It: US Government: “We Can Ban Books”


US Government: “We Can Ban Books”

Dep. Solicitor General Argues Jailing Book Publishers Is Constitutional

During Tuesday’s oral arguments in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the government told the Supreme Court that it has the constitutional authority to send a commercial book publisher to prison for publishing a book that contains the words “Vote for _____” within two months of an election.

Below are selected editorials and op-eds from around the country supporting Citizens United’s position against the Federal Election Commission on this critical First Amendment issue.

To arrange for an interview with David Bossie, President of Citizens United, please contact 202.547.5420.

USA TODAY OP-ED: Top court reviews 'Hillary, the movie' 3/26/09 It isn't often that a government lawyer stands before the Supreme Court and acknowledges that yes, it would be constitutional to ban a book. But that is what happened on Tuesday, as Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart defended a campaign-reform law that treated an anti-Hillary Clinton movie in 2008 as an election ad — an advertisement that could be restricted, even banned, because a corporation paid for it.

WSJ EDITORIAL: Free Speech: The Movie 3/26/09

According to Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, who argued the case, the government could theoretically regulate other forms of pre-election corporate speech as well, including books and the Internet. "That's pretty incredible," said Justice Samuel Alito. "You think that if a book was published, a campaign biography that was the functional equivalent of express advocacy, that could be banned?" Yes, Mr. Stewart said, if a corporation or union were paying for it. It would be possible to "prohibit the publication of the book using the corporate treasury funds."

WASH TIMES EDITORIAL: Campaign finance law scrutinized 3/26/09

Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart's argument before the court on behalf of the Federal Election Commission that the government could use the law to stop the distribution of election-related books, electronic media to an Amazon Kindle reader, and even ads for action figures representing candidates for federal office if they are paid for by corporate funding, is incredibly disconcerting.


The debate over the First Amendment implications of campaign-finance law reached its logical terminus in oral arguments before the Supreme Court Tuesday when lawyers for the federal government said it should be able to ban books. . . . Deputy Solicitor General Malcom Stewart said it does not matter how long a campaign commercial is, and it does not matter if the film is a quasi-documentary. A movie is no different from a campaign ad if it appeals to voters for the election or defeat of a political candidate.

Subscribe RSS

Latest Updates

CU and CUF joined forces with other conservative organizations in filing an amicus brief on DACA

Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation joined forces with other...

Statement of Michael Boos, Citizens United Vice President and General Counsel, on today’s ruling by a three judge panel of the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Statement of Michael Boos, Citizens United Vice President and General...

Citizens United files FOIA lawsuit vs. State Department

Citizens United files FOIA lawsuit vs. State Department for former...

Citizens United files amicus brief in support of the Trump Admin

The lower court's ruling that Pres. Trump can't cancel DACA...

CU In The News

Wash Times: Obama aide started Christopher Steele-FBI Alliance

A senior Barack Obama State Department official gave the green...

Reuters: Citizens United loses free speech appeal over New York donor rules

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday...

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

The Capitol’s chambers are no strangers to violence, though fortunately...

CU President David Bossie discusses President Trump’s accomplishments on the one year anniversary of his inauguration on Fox & Friends

CU President David Bossie discusses President Trump’s accomplishments on the...

David Bossie at CPAC 2017

© 2018 - Citizens United - 202-547-5420
1006 Pennsylvania Ave SE - Washington, DC 20003
Privacy Policy