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LIVE INTERVIEW: SUPCO ruling on campaign finance - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

LIVE INTERVIEW: SUPCO ruling on campaign finance

Burlington, Vermont - January 26, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court changed the face of political campaigns last week when it tossed out part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. The ruling lifted limits on corporate spending for candidates. And that has sparked a lot of controversy.

Constitutional Law expert Cheryl Hanna said the decision is probably one of the most significant rulings to come out of the Roberts court. The ruling covers corporations, unions, private nonprofits-- all sort of corporate entities of all sort.

"What the court said is, first of all, money talks. So there are free speech rights and you can't limit how much people can spend to get their message out about a political candidate. But the more controversial part of the ruling was that, and guess what? Corporations are the same as people, and so you can't limit what corporations spend on behalf of candidates," Hanna explained.

That reversed a precedent that was about 100 years old. Hanna said it's really significant, and for the first time we're going to see unbridled spending on behalf of corporations during the political campaign season.

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