How Pensions Violate Free Speech

In its Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court held that companies have a First Amendment right to make electoral expenditures with general corporate treasuries. And they’ve done so, with relish, pouring millions into the political system.

What Citizens United failed to account for, however, is that a significant portion of the money that corporations are spending on politics is financed by equity capital provided by public pension funds — capital contributions that the government requires public employees to finance with their paychecks.

This consequence of Citizens United is perverse: requiring public employees to finance corporate electoral spending amounts to compelled political speech and association, something the First Amendment flatly forbids.

Read more at The New York Times.

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