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Supremes Skeptical Of Campaign Ad Restrictions

Some on the Supreme Court seemed skeptical of parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, especially a provision that bars interest groups from running corporate-funded radio and TV ads that mention a candidate's name within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

The case argued before the high court Wednesday revolves around ads that an anti-choice fringe group, Wisconsin Right to Life, was prevented from airing in 2004 campaign. Attorney Seth Waxman, representing lawmakers defending the provision, tells the court ads like those could still air if they are paid for with money raised under federal limits and disclosure requirements.

But Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the court since a 2003 ruling upholding the law, asks whether the burden should be "on the challenger to prove that they're allowed to speak, as opposed to the government to prove -- to carry the burden that they can censor the speech?" Should Roberts and Samuel Alito - another newcomer -- vote to toss the restriction, they would likely be joined by the three justices who dissented from the 2003 ruling -- Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy -- to form a majority.



Read the whole story at Los Angeles Times »

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