Great news for the holiday weekend, everyone: One of the last broad federal bans on corporate political donations has been declared unconstitutional by a freedom-loving U.S. District Court judge in Virginia.
Judge James Cacheris ruled in a criminal trial today "that the campaign-finance law banning corporations from making contributions to federal candidates is unconstitutional, citing the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United decision last year in his analysis." This was inevitable.
Tempting as it is to call Judge James Cacheris any number of vulgar names right now, he's just walking through the door that America's worst institution, the John Roberts Supreme Court, left wide open in its Citizens United ruling. That case struck down bans that limited corporations' and unions' political spending, such as money given to advocacy PACs, but stopped short of striking down the ban on direct corporate donations to federal candidates. Citizens United did, however, affirm corporations' full "free speech" rights, and this new precedent made it likely that whatever other corporate spending restrictions that remained on the books would come tumbling down soon enough.
After that? Someone needs to get those caps on direct donation amounts ruled unconstitutional, too.