Bloomberg BNA: `Soft Money’ Case a Test for Trump, Supreme Court


Supporters of stronger campaign finance rules have weighed in with a friend of the court brief announced Feb. 13, which urged the Supreme Court to continue upholding restrictions on political party funding. In the filing, three nonprofit organizations supporting strong rules, Democracy 21, Public Citizen and the Campaign Legal Center, urged the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of BCRA’s contribution limits to state and local parties used for federal electioneering purposes. Before BCRA’s enactment, state parties could use unlimited soft money contributions to pay for various activities benefiting federal candidates, the brief said. It said that allowed large donors, including corporations, to contribute to state parties in order to buy influence over federal officeholders.

The brief noted that the Supreme Court upheld BCRA’s ban on soft money as a legitimate anti-corruption measure in its 2003 decision inMcConnell v. FEC and again in 2010 in Republican National Committee v. FEC. The brief also said the Supreme Court’s more recent rulings in the 2014 McCutcheon case and the 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FECleft the soft money rulings untouched.

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