Soft Money Ban Upheld By Three-Judge Panel: Statement of Paul S. Ryan, Associate Legal Counsel


We welcome the decision of the three-judge district court panel in RNC v FEC to uphold the McCain-Feingold soft money ban from legal attack by those who seek to allow unlimited and corrupting contributions by corporations and special interests to the national party committees. Though an appeal to the Supreme Court may well follow day's decision, the court rightfully recognized that the Supreme Court's 2003 McConnell decision is still the law of the land when it comes to the ban on soft money contributions to political party committees. The panel rightfully recognized that the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United did not address the constitutionality of the soft money ban.

Before the ban, massive donations were given by those seeking to influence the legislative process and many Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle were not shy about soliciting such contributions. Our democracy is well rid of the practice.

This case may be appealed and the Roberts Court's decision on whether to hear it will be indicative of how far the Court's narrow majority is willing to go in gutting the nation's campaign finance laws to the benefit of the very deepest pockets. Public opinion and political reality of what huge contributions buy in Washington would argue against the further gutting of the McCain-Feingold law, and the Court and the nation will be better served by upholding the ban if given the opportunity