High court takes new look at campaign law

Jan. 20, 2007 at 6:05 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take another look at the federal ban on naming specific candidates in "issue ads" immediately before elections.

The ban, which applies 30 days before primaries and 60 days before general elections, is a key provision in the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act. The court upheld the act three years ago, when Sandra Day O'Connor was still an associate justice.

She has since retired and has been replaced by Samuel Alito.

An appeals panel in Washington agreed with Wisconsin Right to Life that the ban is unconstitutional. The high court announced Friday it would hear the case, the Washington Post reported.

Trevor Potter -- the president of the Campaign Legal Center and an adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- said overturning the ban would lead to endless confusion about when ads are issue advocacy and when they are campaign ads.

James Bopp Jr., the lawyer representing Wisconsin Right to Life, argues that the ban interferes with the right to petition the government.

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