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Millionaires’ Dilemma

I don’t say this often, but thanks to NPR — for pointing out Tuesday morning that, while Clinton and Obama are duking it out for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania, John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, will be at the Supreme Court, at least in spirit.

The robed nine will be hearing oral arguments in a case involving the so-called "millionaires’ amendment" to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

As The New York Times described it,

The millionaires’ amendment, or Section 319 of the McCain-Feingold law, is triggered when a candidate for the House of Representatives spends more than $350,000 in personal funds on his or her own campaign. The candidate’s opponent is then allowed, if certain other conditions are met, to accept larger campaign contributions than the law would normally permit.

While McCain will no doubt be interested in how the high court sorts this one out, he has more immediate legal concerns. The Democratic National Committee this month went to court, trying to get the Federal Election Commission to investigate his decision to unilaterally withdraw from the FEC’s matching funds program. The DNC also charges that McCain’s campaign is breaking the spending limits it agreed to when applying for the matching funds.

One thing is clear: it’s a good time to be a campaign finance lawyer.

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