First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978), is a U.S. constitutional law case which defined the free speech right of corporations for the first time. The United States Supreme Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to make contributions to ballot initiative campaigns. The ruling came in response to a Massachusetts law that prohibited corporate donations in ballot initiatives unless the corporation's interests were directly involved.

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  • First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978), is a U.S. constitutional law case which defined the free speech right of corporations for the first time. The United States Supreme Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to make contributions to ballot initiative campaigns. The ruling came in response to a Massachusetts law that prohibited corporate donations in ballot initiatives unless the corporation's interests were directly involved. In 1976 several corporations, including the First National Bank of Boston, were barred from contributing to a Massachusetts referendum regarding tax policy and subsequently sued. The case was successfully appealed to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in November 1977. On April 26, 1978, the Court ruled 5-4 against the Massachusetts law. As a result of the ruling, states could no longer impose specific regulations on donations from corporations in ballot initiative campaigns. While the Bellotti decision did not directly affect federal law, it has been cited by other Supreme Court cases such as McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. (en)
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  • First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978), is a U.S. constitutional law case which defined the free speech right of corporations for the first time. The United States Supreme Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to make contributions to ballot initiative campaigns. The ruling came in response to a Massachusetts law that prohibited corporate donations in ballot initiatives unless the corporation's interests were directly involved. (en)
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  • First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti (en)
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  • v. (en)
  • Francis X. Bellotti, Attorney General of Massachusetts (en)
  • First National Bank of Boston, et al. (en)
  • (en)
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