Election Law

Lawyers Advise, Clients Strategize on New 'Issue' Political Advertising

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Lawyers who advise advocacy groups are busy this week, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday opening the door to more “issue”-oriented political advertising.

The question: How far can these groups go in pre-election advertising that discusses issues but at least arguably also promotes political candidates? The Federal Election Commission, which enforces campaign finance rules, likely will issue new regulations soon to implement the new standard set by the court’s 5-4 decision, according to AP.

But in the meantime the boundaries of permissible political advertising under the new standard aren’t clear, and, because some groups will probably push the issue to the limits, further litigation is likely. “I would say they will want to run ads to influence elections and may be willing to risk being taken to court,” Paul Ryan, of the Campaign Legal Center, tells AP.

The court’s ruling in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission found that an anti-abortion group had a First Amendment right to run election advertising that named a Senate candiate, ABAJournal.com reported Monday.

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