CONTACT: Sarah Lee, Communications Director
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) today announced it has filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant review of the case of United States v. Danielczyk, which is related to the ban on direct corporate contributions to federal candidates.
According to CCP Legal Director Allen Dickerson, “In the nearly three years since Citizens United was decided, the lower courts have struggled to define its scope and application. This case presents an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify an outstanding issue: do laws that were justified under the now-overturned rationales in Austin v. Mich. Chamber of Commerce continue to be valid?”
The brief argues specifically that each circuit to have considered the question has noted the tension between Federal Election Commission v Beaumont, which upheld an earlier challenge of the corporate contribution ban, and Citizens United. “Beaumont found that the ban on non-profit corporate contributions served anti-circumvention, anti-corruption, shareholder protection, and anti-distortion purposes.”
The brief notes that “Citizens United explicitly eliminated two of the four constitutional justifications for contribution limits articulated in Beaumont” — the shareholder protection anti-distortion rationales. “That decision left open the question of whether corporate contributions create a constitutionally-adequate threat of actual or apparent corruption, either on their face or via circumvention of other anti- corruption laws.”
The amicus brief demonstrates that the circumvention concern has been invalidated by attribution regimes at both the state and federal level, and that data from the states fail to show a sufficient threat of corruption from corporate contributions.
The amicus brief can be read here.
The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.