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Affected State-Level Laws
September 4, 2009
Twenty-four states currently have laws which restrict or ban corporate spending in elections. The counsel for the authors of the McCain-Feingold legislation argue that if the Supreme Court overturns its previous decisions in Austin v. Michigan and McConnell v. F.E.C., the court would "invalidate laws of twenty-two States that prohibit corporations from using treasury funds for campaign advocacy and jeopardize statutes in two others that strictly limit corporate expenditures."

Below, you will find a list of state statutes that could be affected by Citizens United v. F.E.C.

Source: SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, SENATOR RUSSELL FEINGOLD, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, AND FORMER REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN MEEHAN IN SUPPORT OF APPELLEE.

>>You can download the brief here (PDF).

STATE STATUTES PROHIBITING INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES FROM GENERAL TREASURY

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 15.13.400(8), (13) ("group" excludes corporations unless their "principal purpose" is to influence elections; "nongroup entity" excludes entities that "participate in business activities")

Alaska Stat. § 15.13.065(a) (permitting contributions to groups only by other groups, nongroup entities, and individuals)

Alaska Stat. § 15.13.067 (permitting expenditures only by groups, nongroup entities, individuals, and candidates)

Arizona

Ariz. Const. art. 14, § 18 ("It shall be unlawful for any corporation, organized or doing business in this State, to make any contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of influencing any election or official action.")

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-919(A) (prohibiting corporations from making "any contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of influencing an election")

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-920(A)(4) (permitting corporations to make expenditures only to establish, administer, and solicit voluntary contributions for a separate segregated fund)

Colorado

Colo. Const. art. 28, § 3, cl. 4 (prohibiting corporations from making expenditures "expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate"; permitting corporations to establish committees to accept contributions from employees, officeholders, shareholders, or members; corporations that are "formed for the purpose of promoting political ideas and cannot engage in business activities" are excepted from these restrictions)

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-613(a), (b) (prohibiting corporate expenditures "for the benefit of" any candidate or "to promote the success or defeat of any political party" except to administer and solicit contributions for a political committee established by the corporation)

Iowa

Iowa Code § 68A.503(1) (prohibiting corporations from making contributions to a committee or candidate or to expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate)

Iowa Code § 68A.503(3) (permitting corporations to establish political committees, but permitting use of corporate funds only for the administration of the committee)

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 121.035(2) ("No officer, agent, attorney, or employee of any corporation ... shall disburse, distribute, pay out, or in any way

handle any money, funds, or other thing of value that belongs to or has been or is being furnished by any such corporation ... to be used or employed in any way for the purpose of aiding, assisting, or advancing any candidate for public office in this state in any way whatever.")

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 55, § 8 (prohibiting corporations from making contributions or expenditures "for the purpose of aiding, promoting or preventing the nomination or election of any person to public office" and prohibiting any political committee from accepting contributions or donations from any corporation)

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws § 169.254 (prohibiting corporations and labor organizations from making contributions or expenditures)

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 211B.15, subdiv. 2 (prohibiting corporations from making contributions or expenditures "to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual")

Montana

Mont. Code Ann. § 13-35-227(1), (3) (prohibiting corporations from making contributions or expenditures "in connection with a candidate or political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party"; corporations may establish a segregated fund consisting of contributions from affiliated individuals)

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-278.19(a)(1), (f)(1) (prohibiting corporations and labor unions from making "any contribution" to candidate or political committee or from making "any expenditure to support or oppose the nomination or election of a clearly identified candidate"; non-business entities with the "express purpose" of "promoting social, educational, or political ideas" are excepted)

North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-08.1-03.3(1)(d), (e) (prohibiting corporations from making contributions to any candidate, political party or committee, or for any "political purpose," or "[f]or the influencing of any measure before the legislative assembly")

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3599.03(A)(1) (prohibiting corporations from making contributions or expenditures to aid the election of any candidate or to contribute to any political action committee)

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3517.082(A) (authorizing corporations to use corporate funds only to create and administer political action committees or segregated funds)

Oklahoma

Okla. Const. art. 9, § 40 (prohibiting corporations from "influenc[ing] elections or official duty by contributions of money or anything of value")

Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 74, ch. 62, App. § 257:10-1-2(d) (prohibiting corporate contributions or expenditures for benefit of candidate or committee in connection with election; allows solicitation of funds to separate committee for political purposes)

Pennsylvania

25 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 3253 (prohibiting corporations from making any "contribution or expenditure in connection with the election of any candidate or for any political purpose whatever," unless corporation is formed primarily for political purpose or as political committee)

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-25-10.1(h)(1) (prohibiting "any corporation, whether profit or non-profit, domestic corporation or foreign corporation ... or other business entity" from making "any campaign contribution or expenditure ... to or for any candidate, political action committee, or political party committee")

South Dakota

S.D. Codified Laws § 12-27-18 (prohibiting "organization[s]" from making "a contribution to a candidate committee, political action committee, or political party or mak[ing] an independent expenditure expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate"; excepting "independent expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate by a qualified nonprofit corporation from its treasury funds"; providing that "[a]n organization may create a political action committee")

S.D. Codified Laws § 12-27-1(16) (defining "[o]rganization" to include "any business corporation," "nonprofit corporation," or "labor union")

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-19-132(a) (making it unlawful for executive or representative of corporation to use corporate money "for the purpose of aiding" a candidate for office or for "in any way contributing to the campaign fund of any political party, for any purpose whatever")

Texas

Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 253.094(a) (generally prohibiting a corporation or labor organization from making "political contribution[s]" and "political expenditure[s]")

Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 251.001(7), (10) (defining "[p]olitical expenditure[s]" to include "campaign expenditure[s]",

i.e., "expenditure[s] made by any person in connection with a campaign for an elective office or on a measure") Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 253.100(a) (excepting from general prohibition corporate political expenditures made for "the establishment or administration of a general-purpose committee" or the "maintenance and operation" of such a committee)

Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 253.098(a) (excepting from general prohibition "campaign expenditures" made by corporations "from [their] own property for the purpose of communicating directly with [their] stockholders ... or with the families of [their] stockholders")

West Virginia

W. Va. Code § 3-8-8(a), (b)(1)(C) (forbidding corporate contributions "for thepurpose of expressly advocating theelection or defeat of a clearly identifiedcandidate"; a corporation may solicitcontributions to a separate segregatedfund to be used for political purposes)

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. Ann. § 11.38(1)(a) (forbiddingcorporate contributions and expenditures; allowing a corporation to solicitcontributions to a "separate segregated fund"; corporation may notspend more than $500 annually forpurpose of soliciting contributions tosuch a fund)

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-25-102(a) (prohibiting corporations from contributing funds "or election assistance to aid, promote or prevent the nomination or election of any candidate or group of candidates or to aid or promote the interests, success or defeat of any political party")

STATE STATUTES LIMITING INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES FROM GENERAL TREASURY

Alabama

Ala. Code § 10-2A-70 (generally prohibiting corporations from making expenditures "for the purpose of aiding any political party or any candidate for any public office")

Ala. Code § 10-2A-70.1(a) (permitting corporate expenditures not exceeding $500 in "any one election in order to aid, promote or prevent the nomination or election of any person")

Ala. Code § 10-2A-70.2 (permitting a corporation to contribute no more than $500 to a committee)

New York

N.Y. Elec. Law § 14 116 (prohibiting contributions or expenditures by corporations in excess of $5,000; corporations organized "for political purposes only" are excepted)

Also This Week:
FLOYD ABRAMS AND TREVOR POTTER
Next week, the Supreme Court reconvenes early for a special hearing on the constitutionality of campaign finance limits for corporations. To hear the arguments, Bill Moyers sits down with Trevor Potter, president and general counsel of The Campaign Legal Center and a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment attorney.
>>>CURRENT STATE LAWS AFFECTED BY THE CASE


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