Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Political Contributions from Foreign Residents - State and Federal Communications

January 9, 2012  •  

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Political Contributions from Foreign Residents

United States Supreme Court BuildingFederal campaign contributions are prohibited from individuals living in the U.S. but not admitted for permanent residency, the Supreme Court affirmed today.

The Supreme Court, through a summary disposition, upheld a lower court ruling finding aliens who are in the United States on temporary work visas may not make political contributions to federal candidates or political parties, as proscribed in 2 U.S.C. §441e and its implementing regulations.

Bluman v FEC was brought on behalf of two plaintiffs, a doctor in residency and a recent law school graduate, both citizens of other countries. They argued the Court’s earlier Citizens United v FEC decision mandated allowing financial political contributions by the plaintiffs as part of their protected free speech.

In upholding the law and denying the plaintiff the relief they sought, the lower court had written in its decision, “It is fundamental to the definition of our national political community that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government.”

Today’s one-line summary disposition by the Supreme Court affirms the lower court’s holding without judicial opinion.

Photo of the U.S. Supreme Court Building by Joe Ravi on Wikipedia.

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