Citizens UnitedA Legal OpinionCharles A. Laster The “Citizen United” decision by the Supreme Court upset many people.However upon examining the case, it seems the Court overlooked some important aspectsof business law.In the majority opinion Justice Kennedy stated the BCRA was unconstitutional because it suppressed free speech based solely on being identified as a corporation, andthe Court first concluded that this “
could not be resolved on narrower grounds”
.This was where they erred, it can be resolved on narrower grounds, and this washinted at in the dissent, but they overlooked it as well. The dissent noted that corporations“
may be managed by non-citizens who do not share interests of this country or itspeople”
.Citizens of any nation may own a publicly traded corporation’s shares. The onlyloyalty of this type of corporation is to maximize shareholder value. This often conflictswith the interests of the government and its people they do business with.Private corporations are another matter; their citizenship and their rights to free political speech are more readily determined.Private corporations owned by foreigners, but doing business in this country, like public corporations, may not be concerned with best interests of this country or itscitizens either.Private corporations owned by citizens of this country have an inherent stake inthe political process of this county. Their right to engage in the political process shouldnot be infringed.