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Federal judges uphold 2002 electioneering ban

[JURIST] A panel of the US District Court for the District of Columbia has rejected [opinion, PDF] a challenge brought by a nonprofit political interest group to the electioneering communication ban in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 [FEC materials] that prohibits TV advertisements funded with corporate or union money that mention a specific candidate from airing 30 days before a primary election or 60 days before a general election. The three judges sitting on the panel were unpersuaded by arguments made by the Christian Civic League of Maine [advocacy website], which argued that an ad mentioning US Senator Olympia Snowe's refusal to sign the Marriage Protection Amendment [text] was an example of grass roots campaigning rather than electioneering. Snowe (R-ME) [official website] is running unopposed in Maine's June 13 primaries.

The panel found that the government had a compelling interest in monitoring the integrity of the election process, and that the electioneering ban was narrowly tailored to achieve that goal. Read the transcript of the April 24 motion hearing here. AP has more.

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