Venable partner Ron Jacobs discussed the possible impact a new Supreme Court justice could have on Citizens United in a February 18, 2016 Association TRENDS article. The 2010 ruling allowed corporations and associations to directly make expenditures advocating for the election or defeat of a specific federal candidate. A nominee in favor of reversing the decision would likely have a difficult time winning confirmation from the Republican-controlled Senate.
"Citizens United opened up a lot of doors for associations, it's an important issue to be concerned about," said Jacobs, adding that the prospect of a case which could overturn it reaching the Supreme Court "is complicated." He laid out two scenarios for a case to come before the Court. The first involves a state passing a law banning corporate expenditures or a state trying to enforce a law that is unconstitutional under Citizens United. The second involves a state determining that independent expenditures are corrupting candidates and trying a new method of regulations. Under both scenarios, the cases would have to wind their way through the lower courts before reaching the Supreme Court.