Supreme Court Declines to Hear Campaign Finance Case, Leaving Room for Campaign Reform Efforts

Feb. 25, 2013

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Campaign Finance Case, Leaving Room for Campaign Reform Efforts

Court’s Action Leaves in Place Long-Standing Ban on Direct Corporate Campaign Contributions in Federal and Many State Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today not to consider Danielzyck v. United States, a case that challenged the federal law prohibiting corporations from making direct campaign contributions from their treasury funds to candidates and party committees, is encouraging news for campaign finance reform efforts, Public Citizen said today.

“The court’s refusal to press forward with a further expansion of corporate electioneering rights may reflect the huge negative reaction regarding Citizen United that came from the public, and within the court itself,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “The country has witnessed the corrupting influence of unlimited money in our politics, and it’s clear to a large majority of Americans that Citizens United has hurt our democracy.”

Polls show that Americans of all partisan stripes overwhelmingly oppose the decision, giving rise to a viable constitutional amendment campaign and a flurry of cries for more disclosure of spending by corporations and the wealthy. Even within the court, the dissenting opinion of four justices in Citizens United was a biting rebuke of the majority.

“Today, the court exercised prudence by choosing not to even consider striking down one of the remaining limits on money in politics,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Let’s hope the court someday soon also will reconsider its disastrous Citizens United decision.”

The court has recently agreed to hear a challenge to the limits on aggregate campaign contributions from individuals. The case is McCutcheon v. FEC, which could be used by the narrow majority to chip away at limits on contributions in the near future.

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