Yesterday, a federal district court judge in Alexandria, Virginia reaffirmed an opinion he issued on May 26, 2011 that held unconstitutional the 100-year-old ban on corporate contributions to federal candidates. In so doing, the judge, in essence, overruled an existing Supreme Court decision issued less than a decade ago in FEC v. Beaumont, which upheld the corporate contribution ban.
This is quite an extraordinary and misguided decision.
Now that federal district court Judge James Cacheris is aware of the existing Supreme Court decision in the Beaumont case upholding the ban on corporate contributions, which he missed in his first opinion, the judge has chosen to knowingly overturn a Supreme Court decision.
Judge Cacheris does not have the power or authority to do this.
Judge Cacheris's idea that the Citizens United decision somehow "silently" overruled the Beaumont decision upholding the constitutionality of the corporate contribution ban is meritless and ignores the fact that the Supreme Court made clear that the key to its decision in Citizens United was that it was dealing with independent expenditures.
The Supreme Court never addressed the corporate contribution ban in its Citizens United decision and did not overturn the Beaumont decision which remains the law of the land.
Judge Cacheris's decision should be appealed.
This unique approach to the role of the Supreme Court in our judicial system cannot be allowed to stand.
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