McConnell Gets a Voice in Court Hearing on Campaign Finance
By Robert Barnes
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to intervene in next month's hearing on the constitutionality of campaign finance restrictions, meaning that he and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will be on opposite sides.
The court is considering whether to overturn its previous decisions that restrict unions and corporations from using their general treasuries to influence election campaigns. At stake is a key portion of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, more commonly known as McCain-Feingold.
The court found the law constitutional in a 2003 decision known as McConnell v. FEC, and the Kentucky senator's lawyer, noted First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, told the court that McConnell should be included in the arguments over whether to reverse that decision.
The Sept. 9 hearing is in a case called Citizens United v. FEC, in which the conservative interest group challenged BCRA's restrictions on how it presents and advertises "Hillary: The Movie," its critical look at Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The all-star lineup in the case, now expanded to an 80-minute hearing, includes: new Soliticor General Elena Kagan, arguing her first case before the court; former solicitor general Seth Waxman, arguing for McCain and other members of Congress; Abrams, representing McConnell; and former solicitor general Theodore Olson arguing for Citizens United.
August 17, 2009; 6:12 PM ET
Categories: GOP Leaders , Senate , Supreme Court
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