Learn More About Citizens United
1988 - Citizens United was founded in 1988 by conservative activist Floyd Brown as a nonprofit organization. One of its first actions was to fight for Justice Clarence Thomas' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
1992 - David N. Bossie joins as Director of Political Affairs and Communications of Citizens United. He is credited with Brown for designing the Willie Horton ads in the 1988 campaign (under a different political organization’s name).
1992 - Bossie conducted the research and co-wrote with Floyd Brown, Slick Willie: Why America Cannot Trust Bill Clinton--a slim paperback book distributed through direct mail campaign by Citizens United. Bossie admits that he and Floyd Brown were the "vast right-wing conspiracy" working against the Clinton Administration.
1995-1998 – Bossie joins staff of Senate Whitewater Investigation Committee and spends the next two years as chief investigator for Chairman Dan Burton (R-Indiana) until he is fired as the staffer responsible for leaking edited tapes from Webster Hubbell.
2000 – Bossie becomes President of Citizens United.
December 2007 – Citizens United files the lawsuit against Federal Election Commission to allow it to air advertisements and the film Hillary: the Movie within 30 days of the primaries in spring 2008. Citizens United loses in the lower court and appeals the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which does not hear the case until after the 2008 election.
2008 - Citizens United runs an anti-John McCain ad on Fox News accusing the candidate of being too liberal.
January 2010 – The U.S. Supreme Court issues the Citizens United decision holding that the corporation itself can distribute and buy advertising for these films even in pre-election periods without having to use a political action committee. The Court also rules 8-1 (all Justices except Justice Thomas) that Citizens United must comply with all campaign finance disclaimer and disclosure requirements when broadcasting the ads or film.
August 2012 – Citizens United shows films in special theater at the Republican National Convention in Florida, including the anti-Obama film The Hope and the Change.
Fall 2013 – Citizens United releases 29 minute film, Fast Terry, in Virginia against Democratic candidate for Governor spending over $350,000 in TV time spent in final months before election.
April 2014 – Citizens United and Americans For Prosperity co-host a Freedom Summit in New Hampshire with 2016 Republican Party potential Presidential candidates.
August 2014 – Citizens United files suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado after the Colorado Secretary of State rejected a request for a complete exemption from Colorado disclosure laws regarding its new Colorado movie Rocky Mountain Heist. Citizens United demanded that it be allowed to run TV and radio ads naming Colorado candidates without filing public disclosures or else strike down Colorado’s electioneering communications law as unconstitutional.
September 2014 – U.S. District Judge Brooke Jackson holds Citizens United is required to comply with all Colorado disclosure laws if it chooses to run advertisements featuring Colorado state candidates. Citizens United appeals to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
October 2014 – A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that while Citizens United might enjoy some exemptions from campaign finance disclosure law regarding the production of the Colorado movie Rocky Mountain Heist, it must comply with Colorado law and file public disclosures if it runs advertisements mentioning Colorado state candidates within 60 days of the November 4 election.