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McCain and Feingold Weigh In on McCain-Feingold

Here’s their joint statement released following this morning’s Supreme Court argument in Citizens United v. FEC:

It is important to note that the case reargued today does not affect the core of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law – the ban on large, unregulated donations to the political parties by corporations, unions and wealthy individuals. Nonetheless, at stake in this case are the voices of millions and millions of Americans that could be drowned out by large corporations if the decades-old restrictions on corporate electioneering are called into question. Overturning the Austin decision would open the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending during elections and undermine election laws across the country. Those able to spend tens of millions of dollars, like a Fortune 500 company, are much more likely to be heard during an election than average American voters.

It was just six years ago that the Supreme Court upheld the electioneering communications provision in McCain-Feingold and nothing has happened in that time to warrant the drastic step of overruling that decision. During his confirmation hearing, Chief Justice Roberts, whom we both voted for, promised to respect precedent. If he casts the deciding vote to overrule Austin and McConnell, it would completely contradict that promise, and could have serious consequences for our democracy.

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