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Justice Anthony Kennedy on 5 Supreme Court Rulings: Prayer, Religious Liberty, Gay Marriage

Justice Anthony Kennedy on 5 Supreme Court Rulings: Prayer, Religious Liberty, Gay Marriage

Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

Former US First Lady and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. | REUTERS / LUCY NICHOLSON

In a 5-4 decision in which he was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, in part, Kennedy wrote that political spending is a form of protected speech.

At issue was a 2008 documentary critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton created by a nonprofit corporation named Citizens United that wanted to buy television ads to promote the film.

Citizens United sued the government over a law that barred entities like itself from spending money on speech or expression that promotes or attacks a political candidate.

"The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," wrote Kennedy.

"We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers. Both history and logic lead us to this conclusion."

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