The century-old ban on corporate donations to federal political campaigns should be junked as unconstitutional, the Republican National Committee argued in a legal brief filed Tuesday that could lead to new attacks on the GOP as beholden to corporate money. The GOP brief filed with a federal appeals court contends that the ban which became law back in 1908 violates the First Amendment in light of recent Supreme Court rulings, including the 2010 Citizens United decision which allowed unlimited donations to independent-expenditure groups.
Republican National Committee Chief Counsel John R. Phillippe, Jr. and RNC lawyer Gary Lawkowski contend that the only legitimate rationale for the corporate donation ban now is to prevent an end-run around individual donation limits and that’s not an adequate basis to uphold the ban.
“The complete ban both is over-inclusive to this aim and artificially disadvantages political party and candidate committees. It is over-inclusive because it bans all corporate donations without regard to the ability of corporate donors to attribute their donations to individuals. It artificially disadvantages political party and candidate committees by forcing them to rely on aggregating small-dollar donations from individuals while allowing other political actors, such as independent-expenditure-only political action committees, to receive unlimited corporate donations,” the GOP lawyers wrote.
The brief (which POLITICO has posted here) does not argue against all donation limits for corporations, but as a practical matter a ruling against the current ban would likely lead to such a result.
Full Article: GOP: Corporate donation ban unconstitutional – POLITICO.com.