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Campaign-Spending Laws Eased in Big 5-4 Supreme Court Ruling

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  • Campaign-Spending Laws Eased in Big 5-4 Supreme Court Ruling

    Well, the soothsayers were right: Citizens United has landed. Here’s the opinion. The court has ruled 5-4, with the conservatives winning, that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress. The ruling eases decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

    Justice Kennedy wrote a 57-page opinion for the majority; Justice Stevens a 90-pager for the dissent. There were a handful of “in-part” concurrences and dissents.

    The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision almost certainly
    will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

    The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union-and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

    We’ll have more coverage of the case soon.

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