Home » Notes » First Amendment and ““Foreign-Controlled”” U.S. Corporations: Why Congress Ought to Affirm Domestic Subsidiaries’’ Corporate Political-Speech Rights

First Amendment and ““Foreign-Controlled”” U.S. Corporations: Why Congress Ought to Affirm Domestic Subsidiaries’’ Corporate Political-Speech Rights

PDF · Scott L. Friedman · Apr-11-2013 · 46 VAND. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 613 (2013)

Political spending in the modern-day, prolonged election cycle continues to exceed historic proportions. With money equated to speech, whether the First Amendment entitles certain contributors to engage in this political activity remains an open question. Unlike France and Israel, which prohibit corporate contributions, and Canada and the United Kingdom, which turn to public funding for campaign finance, the United States has pushed candidates to rely on political party contributions, personal wealth, and the generosity of individuals, political action committees, and corporations. Concerns about corporate and foreign influence on politics have been especially salient during this lengthy economic downturn, as shown by the prominence of the nationwide Occupy Wall Street protests. Those who trumpet restrictions on so-called ““foreign”” corporate political influence are concerned with infringements on U.S. sovereign independence and citizens’’ political self-determination. This Note responds to the uproar against corporate and foreign influence in the wake of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, arguing the debate in Congress and, thus, the law, ought to distinguish between domestic subsidiaries of foreign corporations and foreign corporations themselves. Under the current legal regime, no distinction between U.S. corporations and domestic subsidiaries exists; despite proposed legislation to the contrary, it should remain this way.

 




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We are pleased to announce the 2013-2014 VJTL New Members

Coming up:

The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law hosted a symposium called “The Role of Non-State Actors in International Law” at Vanderbilt University Law School in February 2013.

The October issue of the Journal will showcase articles by distinguished symposium guests including:

  • Mr. Ian Smillie, “Blood Diamonds and Non-State Actors”
  • Professor Jean d’Aspremont, “Cognitive Conflicts and the Making of International Law from Empirical Concord to Conceptual Discord in Legal Scholarship”
  • Professor Peter J. Spiro, “Constraining Global Corporate Power: A Very Short Introduction”
  • Professor Suzanne Katzenstein
  • Professor Peter Margulies
  • Professor Harlan G. Cohen

 

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