Sotomayor's First Case Could Transform US Politics

New justice in at the deep end with landmark campaign finance case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 7:09 AM CDT
The Supreme Court will break up its summer recess tomorrow hear arguments, for the second time, in Citizens United v. FEC.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – There aren't any easy cases at the Supreme Court level but the one newbie Sonia Sotomayor and her eight colleagues will tackle  tomorrow is as momentous—and as tricky—as they come, McClatchy reports. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will require the court to decide whether the long-standing ban on corporations and unions making direct contributions to campaigns should be overturned, potentially transforming US politics.

The case—launched by Citizens United after judges decided its scathing 2007  documentary on Hillary Clinton amounted to a campaign ad—pits free speech against fears of influence-buying, analysts say. Reformers warn that corporations will be able to dominate campaigns if the ban on direct contributions is lifted, while supporters of the conservative group's case say that if the FEC wins, it means the rights of corporations to speak freely is being quashed.