In what could be the best news Martha Coakley has heard all week, she now has an antidote to Steve Pagliuca’s money. On Friday September 18, 2009 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated a large portion of the so called McCain Feingold legislation. The Washington Post reported yesterday on the ruling.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit came in a lawsuit brought by Emily’s List, a nonprofit political organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.
The group challenged several Federal Election Commission regulations, arguing that the rules violated its First Amendment rights by limiting its ability to spend and raise money to influence elections. Circuit judges Brett M. Kavanaugh and Karen LeCraft Henderson agreed that the regulations violate free speech rights. A third judge, Janice Rogers Brown, said the regulations were invalid for other reasons.
“The First Amendment, as the Court has construed it, safeguards the right of citizens to band together and pool their resources . . . to express their views about policy issues and candidates for public office,” Kavanaugh wrote in his 44-page opinion.
This ruling comes in time for the rules to be changed for the Special Election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. For those not familiar with the amount of money that EMILY’s list can put into a race look to the last Federal special election in Massachusetts. Between direct funding and 527 spending the pro-abortion EMILY’s list put in over $2M into Niki Tsongas’ run. Including the ironic ads saying Jim Ogonowski wanted to hurt children.
Martha Coakley must have woken up yesterday with a big smile on her face.