Several dozen people gathered near the White House Wednesday to call for the end of corporate spending in politics.
Wednesday marked the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC. The 2010 decision loosened rules on campaign spending by corporations and unions.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) spoke to the crowd gathered in Lafayette Park despite the falling snow. Corporations should have a more limited function in the electoral process, he said.
"A corporation is a very limited entity," he said. "It has a very specified role. Its job is to deliver a product or service that is safe to customers who want it and to ... do well by their customers, by their workers, by their shareholders and by the communities they're in. That's all they're supposed to be doing."
In Citizens United, the Supreme Court held that corporations and labor unions have the right to spend their own money on independent advertising to support or oppose political candidates.
Supporters argue that spending money is a form of free speech that should not be limited by the government.
Protesters disrupted the first few minutes of the Supreme Court's session Wednesday. Seven people were arrested as they shouted slogans against the decision five years ago.