• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

New scholarship for a new paradigm in interest groups politics…

The 2010 campaign and election was pivotal: the Republican takeover of the House, the advent of “super PACs,” and record-breaking sums spent on a midterm election. More than ever before, interest groups were able to mobilize new resources and new technologies in a shifting set of House and Senate races. This timely volume explores—in a series of lively case studies—a cross-section of groups, communities, and networks that vividly illustrates the “unleashing” of interest group activity in the electoral process in response to Citizens United and other court cases and events

Introduction
Introduction
Paul S.Herrnson, Christopher J.Deering, and ClydeWilcox

On January 21, 2010 the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in a case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The 5–4 decision (with the conservative wing of the Court prevailing) determined that labor unions, nonprofit organizations, and corporations could use funds from their own treasuries to mount media campaigns in direct support for or opposition to candidates for federal office. So far as the majority was concerned, this was largely a matter of free speech. As Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, opined,

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, ...

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