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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Important Decision on Campaign Finance

The Supreme Court today made a major change in federal election rules. CQ Politics

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations, nonprofits and labor unions can use their own treasuries to fund political advertisements and influence federal elections during the crucial days before citizens vote.

The 5-to-4 decision decision reverses previous interpretations of election law by federal agencies and will have a huge impact on the 2010 elections because it will allow companies to spend millions to help elect and defeat candidates for Congress. The court did rule that such new spending would have to be disclosed.

The decision overturns the previously defined distinctions between corporate and individual expenditures in American elections.

Oral argument is here and the reargument is here.