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U.S. Supreme Court to review 'coordinated' campaign spending

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bierbauer • Court Report: CNN's Charles Bierbauer previews the term
• The 2000-2001 term begins
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to review the limits on coordinated expenditures, money spent by political parties in coordination with candidates in an effort to influence elections.

The case -- Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee -- will be argued early in 2001, too late to have an impact on the current election campaign. It could, however, have a significant impact on future campaigns, depending on how the justices distinguish between "independent" and "coordinated" expenditures.

The Supreme Court's landmark 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo established that while political contributions may be limited without infringing free speech, it is harder to limit expenditures. The case now before the court makes the distinction between a candidate's expenditures and those of other groups whose spending supports the candidate.

The justices will have to determine if those expenditures, if coordinated, constitute contributions subject to limitations.



RELATED STORIES:
Supreme Court ruling a victory for campaign finance reform
January 24, 2000
High court refuses to hear campaign funding case
November 16, 1998

RELATED SITES:
Supreme Court of the United States
FindLaw Supreme Court Center
The Supreme Court Historical Society
History of the Federal Judiciary
Oyez Project: Supreme Court Multimedia
Legal Info. Inst.: Supreme Court Collection
Jurist Guide to the Supreme Court


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