Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court strikes some prohibitions against corporate and union campaign spending

The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down part of the landmark McCain-Fiengold campaign finance bill that prevented union and corporate-paid issue ads in the final days of election campaigns. The court also ruled that cooperations can spend as much as they want to support candidates for Congress of President.

In a 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for their own campaign ads.

Under the ruling, corporations and unions will still be prohibited from giving direct contributions to candidates.

The majority opinion fell in line with those who argued stricter limits on campaign finance amounted to an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech.

"The censorship we now confront is vast in its reach," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

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