First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti

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First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued November 9, 1977
Decided April 26, 1978
Full case name First National Bank of Boston, et al.
v.
Francis X. Bellotti, Attorney General of Massachusetts
Citations 435 U.S. 765 (more)
Holding
Corporations have a First Amendment right to make contributions in order to attempt to influence political processes.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Powell, joined by Burger, Stewart, Blackmun, Stevens
Dissent White, joined by Brennan, Marshall
Dissent Rehnquist
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978), was a case, decided in 1978, in which the United States Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that corporations had a First Amendment right to make contributions in order to attempt to influence political processes. In his opinion, Justice Lewis Powell ruled that a Massachusetts criminal statute prohibiting the expenditure of corporate funds for "influencing or affecting" voters' opinions infringed on corporations' "protected speech in a manner unjustified by a compelling state interest" as he put it. It was heavily cited in the majority opinion of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Text of First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia