Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce
|Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce|
|Argued October 31, 1989
Decided March 27, 1990
|Full case name||Austin, Michigan Secretary of State, et al. v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce|
|Citations||494 U.S. 652 (more)
110 S. Ct. 1391; 108 L. Ed. 2d 652; 1990 U.S. LEXIS 1665; 58 U.S.L.W. 4371
|The Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which prohibited corporations from using treasury money to support or oppose candidates in elections, did not violate the First or the Fourteenth Amendment.|
|Majority||Marshall, joined by Rehnquist, Brennan, White, Blackmun, Stevens|
|Dissent||Kennedy, joined by O'Connor, Scalia|
|U.S. Const. amends. I, XIV|
|Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010)|
Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which prohibited corporations from using treasury money to make independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates in elections, did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court upheld the restriction on corporate speech, stating, "Corporate wealth can unfairly influence elections"; however, the Michigan law still allowed the corporation to make such expenditures from a segregated fund.
The Michigan Campaign Finance Act banned corporations from spending treasury money on "independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates in elections for state offices." The Act had one loophole-if a corporation had an independent fund solely used for political purposes the law did not apply. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce sought to use its general funds to publish an advertisement in a local newspaper to support a candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives,
Opinion of the Court
In an opinion by Justice Marshall, the Court recognized a state's compelling interest in combating a "different type of corruption in the political arena: the corrosive and distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth that are accumulated with the help of the corporate form and that have little or no correlation to the public's support for the corporation's political ideas."
- List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 494
- List of United States Supreme Court cases
- Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume
- List of United States Supreme Court cases by the Rehnquist Court
- Appearance of corruption
- Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
- "Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerece". Oyez: Chicago-Kent College of Law. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Hasen, Richard L. (2010-01-21). "Money Grubbers: The Supreme Court kills campaign finance reform". Slate.
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