Court decision shows narrow view of First Amendment

The Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 decision, overturned the so-called Millionaire’s Amendment to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), the landmark campaign finance reform law known as McCain-Feingold that banned soft money to the national political parties.

The Millionaires’ Amendment allowed candidates for Congress to accept larger contributions than otherwise permitted if they were running against opponents who spent large amounts of personal wealth on the campaign, under certain circumstances.

The striking down of the amendment as unconstitutional does not affect the soft money ban that McCain-Feingold put in place and that the court ruled earlier is constitutional.

It does, however, show the court’s increasingly narrow view of the First Amendment as it relates to campaign finance.