January 21st will mark the second anniversary of the watershed Citizens United decision that allowed corporate money to flow, practically unabated, into our electoral system. Not surprisingly, Republicans are going after one of the last remaining limits on corporate campaign spending.
In a brief filed yesterday in the Fourth Circuit, The Republican National Committee has taken the position that the prohibition against corporations diving money directly to candidates or to political committees is unconstitutional.
RNC has an immediate stake in the issue because a lift on the ban for federal donations would translate into millions, if not billions in dollars to the RNC. Their argument is that the ban is unconstitutional because it is an across the board ban that treats all corporations the same, regardless if those corporations are multinationals like Halliburton or small, family owned businesses. To that end, the RNC argues, the ban is over-inclusive and too broad.
Much like the pro-life movement, the assault on reasonable election spending is calculated and precise. The tactic is simple- create as many challenges as is feasible, in as many different federal jurisdictions as can be. With those in hand the decidedly pro-business Roberts Court will be more likely to take up the cause and render a decision as friendly to business as Citizens United.
That means we can expect more challenges like these until either Citizens United is overturned or big business and the RNC gets their way.
Photo from Tracy O via flickr.