A government lawyer on Friday urged an appeals court to reverse a judge’s ruling that a century-old ban on corporate campaign contributions in federal elections is unconstitutional. Justice Department attorney Michael R. Dreeben told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the prohibition serves the legitimate government interest of curbing corruption, and overturning it would run afoul of U.S. Supreme Court precedent. But attorneys for two northern Virginia executives who were charged with violating the ban argued that U.S. District Judge James Cacheris got it right when he ruled last year that the ban violates corporations’ free-speech rights. In his first-of-its-kind ruling, Cacheris said it was not logical for an individual to be able to donate up to $2,500 to a federal government while a corporation “cannot donate a cent.” The appeals court typically takes several weeks to rule.
The issue arose when William P. Danielczyk Jr. and Eugene R. Biagi, who both live in the Washington suburb of Oakton, Va., were charged with illegally funneling contributions to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns. The defendants, officers with a corporation called Galen Capital Group, allegedly persuaded dozens of individuals to contribute to Clinton’s campaigns and reimbursed them with company money.
Full Article: Campaign finance law before appeals court in Va..