During his appearance in Washington DC at a federal three judge panel, James Bopp, a lawyer from Terre Haute in Indiana, got laughed out of the court room. This instance occurred upon him arguing that his clients, Citizens United, should be allowed to air a movie that portrayed Hillary Clinton as a ruthless political schemer and a European Socialist known as Hillary: The Movie. Apparently, the movie was to be aired during the Democratic Presidential Preliminaries on on-demand TV.
The verdict from the FEC, Federal Election Commission, stated that Citizens United could not advertise nor air the movie during the period as it came to a total of 90 minutes for an advertising campaign and it did not show who subscribed to it. He believed that the creators of the movie deserve the First Amendment protection, as the movie does not differ from the 60-minute movies. This statement made by James Bopp made Royce Lamberth, the US District Court Judge, laugh out loud and said that it differs from the 60-minute movies.
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Two years later, in 2010, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict and took up most of James Bopp’s arguments. Seeing as spending was considered a form of speech that the First Amendment protected, the justices in FEC vs. Citizens United saw that corporations received that protection as well. They confirmed that corporations had the rights of the First Amendment as they are considered persons, thus blocking them from supporting or defeating candidates via spending would be unconstitutional. Thanks to James Bopp’s numerous years working to wash away campaign-finance regulations, the Citizens United was born. His work did not stop there, Bopp is going after challenges to break down about each facet of regulations affecting campaign-finance. Tara Malloy, an associate of the Campaign Legal Centre, notes that James Bopp is at the forefront of a largely based litigation assault that is waged against laws on federal and state campaign-finance. It is believed that James Bopp uses small and mission-oriented organizations to broaden loopholes within the law which tends to benefit political allies as well as wealthy corporations eventually. He has also been called the Republican Party’s straw man in their strive for campaign-finance laws to be dismantled.
The End Citizens United is as political action committee that aims to shove big money out of politics, despite raising a large sum itself. End Citizens United has accumulated over $4 million within the first quarter of the year and believes that it shall acquire $35 million before the midterm elections for Congress in 2018, as per the figures availed to the USA Today. This would be a great increase as compared to PAC’s $25 million in the 2016 elections. An estimated 100,000 people chipped into the PAC within the first quarter of this year and for 40,000 of them were first timers, as stated by Tiffany Muller, Executive Director and President of PAC. This year, the average contribution was estimated at $12.