In an order published a few days ago, the federal district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered an order declaring that, in accordance with Citizens United and all the circuit cases following it, Pennsylvania could not prohibit corporate contributions to independent expenditure only committees. The State had actually conceded throughout the case that it couldn’t enforce the law, and the only question was the scope of the injunction. But the district court included this footnote:
Despite popular misconceptions, Citizens United did not announce that “corporations are people.” The Court had previously recognized that First Amendment protections extend to corporations and other associations of individuals, and not just “natural persons.” Id. at 342–43 (collecting cases). Similarly, Citizens United did not declare that “money is speech”; rather, it was the latest in a line of decisions recognizing that political giving and spending are protected First Amendment activities.