On Monday, a three-judge federal panel dismissed a renewed challenge by the Republican party to eliminate the “soft-money” ban on unlimited donations to political parties. The lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, James Bopp Jr., argued that the 2003 Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on contributions is superseded by the Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which set the stage for super PACs. In a case brought by the Republican National Committee (RNC), in June 2010, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the ban despite the RNC’s assertion that it violated the First Amendment rights of political parties to engage in state elections.
According to Judge Sri Srinivasan, who ordinarily sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals but wrote for the panel clarified:
We see no salient distinction between the First Amendment claims rejected in those cases and the challenge presented here.
In praise of the ruling, Public Citizen alongside the Brennan Center for Justice, Democracy 21, and the Campaign Legal Center filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the FEC. Read more here.