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Senator McConnell’s Claims That Campaign Reform Violates First Amendment Don’t Hold Up Under Scrutiny

March 25, 1998

For Immediate Release
March 25, 1998

Contact Information:
Ken Weine, 212 998–6736

Senator McConnell’s Claims that Campaign Reform Violates First Amendment Don’t Hold Up Under Scrutiny
Brennan Center Dispels The McConnell Myths”

The claims of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that campaign finance reform, and in particular legislation that was recently debated in the Senate, are unconstitutional, stand in stark contrast with reality, according to a new release by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.

The Brennan Center release dispels the “McConnell Myths” by documenting Senator McConnell’s comments on campaign reform and its constitutionality and explaining what the courts have, in fact, actually ruled through the years.

“When it comes to campaign finance reform and the Constitution, Senator McConnell is dead wrong,” according to E. Joshua Rosenkranz, Executive Director of the Brennan Center for Justice. “In case after case, Senator McConnell’s claims that certain reform proposals are unconstitutional don’t hold up. Senator McConnell is simply twisting the Constitution to further his personal stand on campaign reform.”

The release dispels the “McConnell Myths” regarding the constitutionality of a soft money ban, regulation of campaign advertising, campaign finance disclosure, and campaign spending limits.

In February, the McCain-Feingold campaign reform legislation was pulled from the Senate floor following a filibuster led by Senator McConnell.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a nonpartisan institute for scholarship, discourse and action devoted to addressing intractable issues of justice central to the legacy of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. The Brennan Center comments frequently on legal and policy issues surrounding campaign finance reform but does not promote particular reforms.