Citizens United V. Federal Election Comission

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Resolved: On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process. My partner and I stand in firm negation of today’s resolution. If my partner and I uphold that the Citizens United decision does not directly harm our election process, then we win today’s round. Contention 1: Citizens United has negligible effect on public participation in elections. In fact, the decision actually supports voter turnout. Many would argue that a bombardment of ads and excessive spending discourage voters, but this is not the case. In fact, there aren’t any studies that back up this claim sufficiently. There are many studies however, that say that ads pique the interest of voters and encourage them to educate themselves about the candidates. The Journal of Politics reports that respondents in 2000 were as much as 10 percentage points more likely to vote if they watched much television (particularly daily news shows) in media markets that were bombarded with presidential ads. Exposure to the ads increased intentions to vote by 18 percentage points. Clearly, campaign ads are very helpful when it comes to voter turnout, and after the case, there was a major increase in the amount of ads aired during a campaign according to a Wesleyan study. We have seen a 40% increase in ads since 2008. In addition, the number of ads only increased by 10,000 from 2004-2008 compared to the 300,000 increase from 2008-2012. Allowing corporations to fund ads and Political Action Committees raises awareness for elections, and potentially increase voter turnout. Contention 2: The decision by the court actually prevents corruption. Matthew Melone, a professor from Depaul University, notes that, “To believe that corporate advocacy will distort the political process and lead to public lack of confidence in the system is to miss the point that influence will continue to be sought by other means. As long as elected officials offer themselves up...
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