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Victory for the First Amendment

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Posted on January 21 2010 6:35 pm

An update on yesterday’s post regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on campaign finance reform:

UPDATE:  Victory for the First Amendment!

The Supreme Court has today removed the spending limitations on corporations who wish to spend on federal campaigns, so long as it is done independently of candidate organizations’ control.

“The censorship we now confront is vast in its reach,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion.

The Court stated that the government may not make distinctions between certain types of speakers (i.e., corporations and labor unions), and may not impose restrictions on those that are “disfavored.”

The Court rejected the so-called ‘corrosive effect’ of money in politics as a sufficient rationale to justify a ban on political speech,  noting that First Amendment protections do not depend on the speaker’s “financial ability to engage in public discussion.”

Restrictions on direct contributions to candidates remain in effect.

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