Federal Election Commission v. Beaumont
March 25, 2003 (02-403)
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Case Summary
The Federal Election Campaign Act, 2 U.S.C.S. 441b(a), (FECA) prevents corporations and labor unions from financially endorsing federal election campaigns in any way. The act does not, however, differentiate between for-profit and non-profit entities. In 2000, Respondents -- a nonprofit organization and a voter -- brought suit and argued that FECA violated the First Amendment rights to free expression and association. The district court ruled that Respondents' First Amendment rights were violated and that the ability to make campaign contributions is an important form of political speech. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed and held that FECA, as applied to Respondents, was an unconstitutional violation of the nonprofit group's First Amendment rights. The opinion of the Fourth Circuit is found at 278 F.3d 261.

To see the opinion of the lower court, click here.


PREDICTED OUTCOME ACTUAL
OUTCOME
Forecasting
Model
Expert
One
Expert
Two
Expert
Three
5-4 to Reverse 6-3 to Affirm 5-4 to Reverse n/a 7-2 to Reverse
VOTING TO REVERSE
Stevens
O'Connor
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Rehnquist
Stevens
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Kennedy
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
VOTING TO AFFIRM
Rehnquist
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Scalia
Thomas

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