Voting Rights Nonprofit Files Amicus Brief in “Soft Money” Case that Could End Up Before U.S. Supreme Court

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Yesterday, we told you about some news related to voter ID laws. Today, we want to draw your attention to a legal case that revolves around so-called “soft money.”

Here’s what’s going on:

Nonpartisan non-profit the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, together with a pro-bono team led by Center board member Daniel F. Kolb, filed an amicus brief in Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Commission, defending the constitutionality of provisions in 2002’s McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, or the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.

The case is before a three-judge panel in the D.C. District Court, which means that an appeal would guarantee the U.S. Supreme Court considers the case.

Although the Brennan Center has proposed limited reforms to allow party committees more fundraising flexibility, the brief argues that these recommendations in no way imply that the current regime is unconstitutional:

“In fact, the core relief Plaintiffs seek — permitting certain party committees to raise potentially unlimited funds for federal election activities — could undermine the very objective of broad political participation that led us to call for reform,” reads the brief. “Sensible contribution limits for political parties remain legitimate and necessary.”

The Brennan Center’s interest in the case is especially strong.

The Center’s research was cited by members of Congress during the congressional debate around BCRA, and the Center then represented congressional sponsors, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who intervened to defend the law against a previous constitutional challenge.

You can read more about Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Commission online, as well as full amicus brief.

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