On appeals court, Kavanaugh helped to loosen political money laws


As a federal appellate judge for the past dozen years, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has played a central role in building the nation's system of campaign finance laws. It's a system that voters hold in low esteem in recent polls. Kavanaugh has been on the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, a frequent destination for cases involving the Federal Election Commission. His decisions have effectively pulled the campaign finance system rightward, letting in more money with less regulation. He's been roughly in sync with Anthony Kennedy, the justice he once clerked for and now might succeed. "All the court needed to say was this ban on foreign nationals spending money in American elections is clearly constitutional, under decades and decades of Supreme Court precedent," said Adav Noti of the Campaign Legal Center, then with the Federal Election Commission, who argued the FEC's case before Kavanaugh and two other judges.

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