Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban on Corporate Contributions to Political Candidates


In a decision citing last year's Citizens United v. F.E.C., U.S. District Judge James Cacheris has declared the federal law banning corporations from contributing directly to political candidates to be unconstitutional. From the ruling in U.S. v. Danielczyk:

For better or worse, Citizens United held that there is no distinction between an individual and a corporation with respect to political speech. Thus, if an individual can make direct contributions within FECA's [the Federal Election Campaign Act] limits, a corporation cannot be banned from doing the same thing.

Law professor Rick Hasen argues that the ruling is likely to be overturned, since the Supreme Court recently upheld a ban on corporate contributions in F.E.C. v. Beaumont (2003). Either way, as the Harlan Institute's Josh Blackman observes, the decision "is going to absolutely infuriate opponents of Citizens United."