Political advertisement laws.   Political advertising law - Article discusses Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), FEC and Supreme Court decisions.















Presidential Election
2008 News


Links to Campaign Websites


Impact of Political
Advertising Law on
Election 2008: Part I


Impact of Political
Advertising Law on
Election 2008: Part II


Barack Obama - 2008 Presidential Election News










Political Advertising Law


Political advertising law.

Welcome to the Political Advertising Law website. This page contains the article, "Impact of Political Advertising Law on Election 2008," that appeared in a recent issue of Advertising Compliance Service. Be sure to check out our powerful Presidential Election 2008 News feature. Most recently, we've added the web page, Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin - Articles and Links.






The United States presidential election of 2008 is off to what is perhaps the earliest start in history. One reason for the early start is the fact that many primaries will now be held in February, 2008 rather than months later as in previous elections. So the candidates for 2008 are raising money at a furious and unprecedented clip. (The election itself will be held on November 4, 2008.) As we enter this accelerated presidential election season, we decided to look at the impact of The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) and several key federal court decisions in terms of the political advertising law aspects of that Act and these cases.




The Christian Civic League of Maine (CCL)--a nonprofit corporation that allegedly engages in some business activity--challenged the ban on corporate financing of electioneering communications (i.e., "issue ads"). (See Christian Civic League of Maine, Inc. v. FEC, 529 U.S. 05-1447 (October 2, 2006).) On September 27, 2006, a federal district court granted partial motions to dismiss and for judgment on the pleadings. And that court dismissed all other CCL claims as moot. On October 2, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed as moot CCL's appeal of the district court’s May 2006 denial of a preliminary injunction.


CCL Desired to Use General Treasury Funds
To Broadcast Radio Ad


CCL desired to use its general treasury funds to broadcast a radio advertisement before a 2006 Senate vote on a certain proposed constitutional amendment. This radio ad identified Maine Senator Olympia Snowe by name and was slated to air shortly before Ms. Snowe's June 13, 2006 primary election. The problem: The BCRA bans so-called electioneering communications within 30 days of a primary election. (See 2 U.S.C. Section 434(f)(3)(A)(i).) The BCRA forbids corporate funds from being used to finance an electioneering communication. CCL argued this law made by Congress violates its First Amendment right to free speech:


"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."




However, the Supreme Court in a narrow 5-4 decision upheld the electioneering communications provision in McConnell v. Federal Election Comm'n (02-1674) 540 U.S. 93 (2003), 251 F. Supp. 2d 176, 251 F. Supp. 2d 948, ruling that, even though this provision might apply to some issue ads, it is narrowly tailored so as to meet a compelling government interest. (See McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93, 206 (2003).


After deciding the McConnell case, the Supreme Court held in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC that McConnell does not foreclose all as-applied challenges to the electioneering communications provision. (See Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC, 126 S.Ct. 1016, 1018 (2006).)


In the Christian Civic League case, CCL did not broadcast its proposed radio ad, and the Senate voted on the legislation the CCL ad would have discussed in early June 2006.




On October 2, 2006, the High Court dismissed as moot CCL's appeal of the district court's May 9, 2006, denial of a preliminary injunction. (See Federal Election Commission Record, June 2006, page 3.) On May 12, 2006, CCL filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court and moved for expedited consideration and consolidated briefing of the matter. On May 15, 2006, the Supreme Court rejected CCL’s motion to expedite and consolidate.


Page 1 | Page 2


Check back here from time to time as future articles will examine political advertising laws and their impact of our election process, particularly on the 2008 presidential election cycle. Click here for our article examining the Impact of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.



JLCom Publishing Co., LLC is the publisher of Advertising Compliance ServiceÔ. For over 26 years, Advertising Compliance ServiceÔ has been the authoritative, comprehensive source of information for advertising lawyers as well as advertisers and advertising agencies--and their attorneys--in the advertising law area. In-house counsel and outside counsel alike regularly rely on Advertising Compliance ServiceÔ. One of the 27 areas regularly covered by this newsletter/reference service focuses on political advertising law. Among the issues to be examined at this web site are campaign advertising political rules, 2008 presidential election advertising, political advertising regulations, the cost of political advertisement, political ad laws, FEC's role in the 2008 presidential election as it relates to advertising, and more.


Call Us!
E-Mail Us!

Call Us Toll Free at 888-235-2997 OR

for more information.




  Political advertisement laws. Political advertising laws.

© Copyright 2007-2008 JLCom Publishing Co., L.L.C. All rights reserved.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The materials included in this Web Site are intended for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide, and do not constitute, legal or other advice. Persons who need legal or other services should contact a duly licensed professional. Inclusion of links on this web site are to web sites maintained by third parties over whom JLCom Publishing Co., LLC has no control. Such links do not imply endorsement of the material contained therein. JLCom Publishing Co., LLC makes no claims, representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or appropriateness of these websites or the information these websites contain. Read this disclaimer and our privacy statement before using this site.