Supreme Court declines to hear case on businesses' political contributions

Supreme Court declines to hear case on businesses' political contributions
© Greg Nash

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a challenge to a Massachusetts law banning for-profit companies from making political contributions, closing the door on a chance to expand businesses’ rights to donate to political candidates and causes.

The justices rejected the bid to take up the case in an unsigned order.


Two Massachusetts businesses — 1A Auto Inc and 126 Self Storage Inc. — claimed that the state law violates their rights to free speech under the First Amendment as well as the Equal Protection Clause by allowing nonprofits and unions to make political donations. The libertarian Goldwater Institute represented the pair of businesses.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has already upheld the law as a valid anti-corruption measure.

If the court had chosen to hear arguments in the case, the justices would be presented with the possibility of expanding businesses’ ability to make political donations.

The court already eliminated restrictions on corporate campaign spending with its 5-4 Citizens United v. FEC ruling in 2010. The majority of the justices found that the limits impeded free speech.

The ruling has been widely criticized by Democrats and anti-corruption groups, who argue that the ruling has allowed “dark money” to further impact elections.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffLobbying from the center Glenn Greenwald warns against media censorship amid concerns over domestic terrorism Biden to keep Wray as FBI director MORE (D-Calif.) earlier this month introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling.