The three-judge court is unlikely to overturn the soft-money ban. It has to follow the Supreme Court precedent set in a 2003 case, McConnell v. FEC, which specifically upheld the prohibition. But thanks to a quirk in the McCain-Feingold law, any appeal in the case would go directly to the Supreme Court. The appeals provision makes it very likely the Court will take the case, because unlike a usual decision not to hear a case, rejection of an appeal would indicate the Supreme Court’s belief that the lower court reached the right result.
When it comes to opinions about the rightful limits on money in politics, the Supreme Court justices seem to live on two different planets. To the more libertarian-oriented justices, such as the late Antonin Scalia, donation limits are a form of unconstitutional censorship that benefits incumbents and gives preferential treatment to the media, which has generally been exempt from limits applying to other corporations. Until Citizens United, for example, a typical for-profit company could not use its resources to advocate for or against candidates for federal office, while the owners of The Atlantic could expend unlimited sums promote or oppose those candidates on the website or in the pages of the magazine.