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What is the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Act of 2002?
 
What is soft money and why is it being regulated?
 
What are electioneering communications?
 
What are the First Amendment concerns raised by the new campaign-finance law?
 
How do campaign-finance law supporters respond to the First Amendment issues raised?
 
How have the courts assessed the BCRA?
 
How did the Supreme Court handle the case?
 
How did the Supreme Court rule on the BCRA?
 
 

The justices, like the court panel that first assessed the law, was sharply divided. But the five-justice majority did speak clearly and decisively in support of almost the entire law. Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the main opinion, and Justices David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were also in the majority. Citing extensive evidence of the influence of campaign money on legislation and elections, the majority gave deference to Congress in fashioning laws that would prevent companies, individuals and parties from circumventing earlier campaign laws. The majority gave less weight than it usually does to First Amendment concerns, prompting dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia to call it a "sad day" for freedom of speech. Also dissenting in most parts of the decision were Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The only major provision of the law struck down was the ban on campaign donations by minors. The Court unanimously agreed that this section of the law unconstitutionally infringed on the speech rights of minors.

 
 
Why is judicial campaign speech treated differently from other types of campaign speech?
 
I work with a political committee. Am I required to put a disclaimer on e-mails or on our Web site?
 
May I send an e-mail to a friend about a political topic or federal election without worrying about a disclaimer?
 
May I create my own personal political blog? May I post to another’s political blog?
 
What if I pay to place a political ad on someone else’s Web page? Would I be subject to any rules and regulations?
 
The company I work for provides commercial services online. May we provide our services to political committees and candidates?
 
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Last system update: Friday, November 14, 2008 | 01:20:27
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