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C-SPAN Radio's Supreme Court Historic Oral Argument: Previewing Campaign Donations Case “Colorado Gop Federal Campaign Committee V. Fec” (1996)

Washington, DC
Friday, October 4, 2013


On October 8 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in “McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission:” A case about the constitutionality of the two-year ceiling on campaign donations to federal candidates.

And Saturday, October 5 on C-SPAN Radio’s historic Supreme Court oral argument: A case cited in briefs for “McCutcheon v. FEC.” From 1996:  “Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee, petitioners v. Federal Election Commission, respondent.”

Before the Colorado Republican party selected its 1986 senatorial candidate, its federal campaign committee bought radio advertisements attacking the Democratic party's likely candidate. The Federal Election Commission brought suit, charging that the Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee had violated the "party expenditure provision" of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), which imposes dollar limits upon political party "expenditure[s] in connection with the general election campaign of a [Congressional] candidate." The Colorado party claimed that the FECA expenditure limitations violated the First Amendment, as applied to its advertisements--- and filed a counterclaim  challenging that provision of the act. The District Court held that the provision did not cover the expenditure at issue. The Court of Appeals ruled that the provision did cover this expenditure and satisfied the Constitution. The case eventually was accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUSBLOG.com Editor and Supreme Court attorney Amy Howe provides context and information And the audio and information are courtesy of the Oyez project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law at: http://www.oyez.org.

Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 at 10:46am (ET)

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