CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N

The majority suggests that, even though it expressly dismissed its facial challenge, Citizens United nevertheless preserved it—not as a freestanding “claim,” but as a potential argument in support of “a claim that the FEC has violated its First Amendment right to free speech.” Ante , at 13; see also ante , at 4 ( Roberts, C. J ., concurring) (describing Citizens United’s claim as: “[T]he Act violates the First Amendment ”). By this novel logic, virtually any submission could be reconceptualized as “a claim that the Government has violated my rights,” and it would then be available to the Court to entertain any conceivable issue that might be relevant to that claim’s disposition. Not only the as-applied/facial distinction, but the basic relationship between litigants and courts, would be upended if the latter had free rein to construe the former’s claims at such high levels of generality. There would be no need for plaintiffs to argue their case; they could just cite the constitutional provisions they think relevant, and leave the rest to us. 9
— Read on www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZX.html