WASHINGTON, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled today that the corporate contribution ban in federal elections is unconstitutional in a case briefed and argued by LeClairRyan partner Lee E. Goodman, who was assisting Todd Richman of the Federal Public Defenders Office on the campaign finance issues presented in the case. Today's ruling reaffirmed a prior decision that the Court reconsidered. The Court's ruling represents the first court decision ruling the corporate contribution ban unconstitutional.
In United States v. Danielcyk, the federal court held that 2 U.S.C. Sec. 441b's absolute ban against corporate contributions to federal campaigns is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court based its ruling on the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that 2010 decision, the nation's highest court held that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as other associations of individuals.
"Judge Cacheris reached the correct conclusion twice," said Goodman. "Citizens United was a sea change in First Amendment jurisprudence and renders the absolute ban on limited corporate contributions unconstitutional. We are pleased with this decision."
From his base in LeClairRyan's Washington, D.C. office, Goodman advises corporations, trade associations and non-profit organizations on compliance with federal and state campaign finance, lobbying regulations, and IRS regulations on political activity.About LeClairRyan Founded in 1988, LeClairRyan provides business counsel and client representation in corporate law and high-stakes litigation. With offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the firm has approximately 335 attorneys representing a wide variety of clients throughout the nation. For more information about LeClairRyan, visit www.leclairryan.com.