Supreme Court and campaign financing


Hat tip to juan for the link to the Wednesday SCOTUS blog for this:

If supporters of federal curbs on political campaign spending by corporations were counting on Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., to hesitate to strike down such restrictions, they could take no comfort from the Supreme Court’s 93-minute hearing Wednesday on that historic question. Despite the best efforts of four other Justices to argue for ruling only very narrowly, the strongest impression was that they had not convinced the two members of the Court thought to be still open to that approach. At least the immediate prospect was for a sweeping declaration of independence in politics for companies and advocacy groups formed as corporations.

The Court probed deeply into Congress’ reasoning in its decades-long attempt to restrict corporate influence in campaigns for the Presidency and Congress, in a special sitting to hear a second time the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (08-205). At issue was whether the Court was ready to overturn two of its precedents — one from 1990, the other from 2003 — upholding such limitations.


…the Justices were heavily engaged in questioning four lawyers — two on each side of the question of overruling Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and McConnell v. FEC (2003). Two former U.S. Solicitors General, the new SG — Elena Hagan — and the country’s leading free speech advocate — Floyd Abrams – argued energetically

October 5 may be the final decision.