Frankly, I don’t see this as a First Amendment issue. I see this as equivalent to a government regulation on a product/service, the First Amendment only really comes in in Apple publicly protesting this regulation. That is, it seems to me that the FBI is requiring that Apple modify their product, or create an alternate product, that has some security vulnerabilities. Apple is protesting this regulation based on security grounds. Apple, or any corporation, reasonably should be able to take some new regulation, requirement, tax, etc. to court and challenge it. Does that really technically count as free speech? Maybe I don’t have a thorough enough understanding of the law, but that wouldn’t seem to me as such.
When I think of corporate free speech as it relates to Citizens United, I would liken that more to Apple spending money to lobby congress to modify laws to establish or remove various regulations, requirements, taxes, etc., not simply challenging them in court. And if challenging in court DOES count as speech, for those who are against the Citizens United ruling but ARE in favor of Apple’s stance here, with both counting as speech, how would one suggest we disallow corporations from spending money for political causes but allow them to have a principled stance such as Apple’s and challenge such in court?
And while I understand people’s frustrations with Citizens United, I agree with the legal reasoning behind the decision, so I don’t personally have a contradiction between these views.