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Monday, February 25, 2013

SCOTUS refuses to dismantle what little remains of US campaign finance laws

Associated Press:

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal of a decision upholding a century-old ban on corporate campaign contributions in federal elections.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from William P. Danielczyk Jr. and Eugene R. Biagi, who wanted the courts to say the ban violates corporations’ free-speech rights.

A federal judge agreed with them, but the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., overturned that decision. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision struck down a prohibition against corporate spending on campaign activities by independent groups but left untouched the ban on direct contributions to candidates.

The judge said independent expenditures and direct contributions were both political speech, but the appeals court said they must be regulated differently.

The justices will not review that decision.

Thank goodness for small miracles. This decision won’t make things any better, because it leaves the law as it is. But it keeps things from getting any worse — and yes, this case proves that worse is still possible.

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