A Tea Party-linked group seeking to loosen restrictions on corporate political action committees was handed a defeat by a U.S. appeals court in Washington, marking a rare win for advocates of campaign finance controls.
The decision, keeping in place limits on corporate PACs including who can give and how much, follows a series of Supreme Court and appeals court decisions that expanded corporations’ ability to wield financial influence in elections.
In its ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today turned aside a challenge by Stop This Insanity Inc., an Arizona-based not-for-profit organization created to advance the values of the Tea Party movement. The group sought to allow corporate PACs to accept funds from the general public and to eliminate a $5,000-a-person annual limit on contributions earmarked for independent support or opposition to candidates.
Corporations already can spend unlimited funds for such political advocacy, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, U.S. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote for the unanimous panel.
“Because this less-obsolete and less-onerous alternative exists, we decline Stop This Insanity’s invitation for us to tinker with what has become a statutory artifact,” Brown wrote.
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