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Campaign finance: Supreme Court declines case on contributions by corporations

A ban on contributions to candidates from corporations has been in effect since 1907. On Monday, the Supreme Court turned away a campaign-finance case seeking to allow such contributions.

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Workers cover the US Supreme Court building in Washington Sept. 2012, with a protective scrim, as work continues on the facade. The Supreme Court turned away a campaign-finance case seeking to allow political contributions to candidates from corporations.

Alex Brandon/AP

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The US Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a case testing whether a century-long ban on political contributions to candidates from corporations violates corporations’ freedom of speech.

The action came without comment by the justices.

At issue in the case was a section of federal election law that permits contributions of up to $2,500 from individuals, partnerships, and limited liability companies. But campaign-finance laws ban the same amount when coming from a corporate treasury.

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The ban on corporate contributions to candidates has been in effect since 1907.

The case, Danielczyk v. United States (12-579), arose in the wake of the high court’s controversial 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

In the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are entitled under the First Amendment to spend unlimited corporate money when making independent political expenditures during election season. The justices struck down a ban on such expenditures, saying that corporations enjoy free-speech rights just as individuals do.

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