Alito takes on critics of Citizens United ruling

Supreme Court Justice Alito takes on critics of Citizens United ruling

Associated Press
SUPREME COURT NOTEBOOK: Alito takes on critics
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FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2012 file photo, Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito speaks at Roger Williams University Law School in Bristol, R.I. Alito is defending the court's 2010 decision in the Citizens United case that helped fuel hundreds of millions of dollars of spending by independent groups in the just-concluded campaign season. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is defending the court's 2010 decision in the case that helped fuel hundreds of millions of dollars to independent groups in the just-concluded campaign season.

Alito told some 1,500 people at a Federalist Society dinner that the First Amendment protects political speech, whether from an individual or a corporation. His comments to the overwhelmingly conservative and Republican crowd were part of his broader analysis of Obama administration arguments that he says curtail individual freedoms.

Alito says opponents of the 5-4 Citizens United decision have conducted an effective, but misleading, public relations campaign. Before the decision, he says, media companies were the only corporations that enjoyed free speech. The Citizens United case extends that right to all corporations and individuals with deep pockets.

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