Supreme Court declines to review ban on corporate campaign contributions

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to review a challenge to the ban on direct campaign contributions by corporations.

The petitioners, William Danielczyk Jr. and Eugene Biagi, argued the ban on political donations from corporations to candidates and party committees was unconstitutional. They said a review of the ban was warranted after the high court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which let corporations spend unlimited funds advocating for or against candidates.

The current Supreme Court has already taken steps to ease restrictions on campaign giving, and many good-government groups feared the long-standing ban on corporate donations would be the next barrier to fall.

But on Monday, the Danielczyk vs. United States case was listed among those cases that had their petitions for review denied.

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The case stemmed from a criminal investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by two businessmen. Their argument that the ban against direct corporate campaign contributions was unconstitutional was accepted by a federal judge, but that decision was later reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.

Despite declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court could still deliver a significant ruling on campaign finance this term. Last week, the court agreed to hear a case that could overturn the ban on the total individual contribution limit.