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Supreme Court to review 'coordinated' campaign spending

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From CNN Sr. Washington Correspondent Charles Bierbauer

WASHINGTON (CNN)-- The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to review the limits on coordinated expenditures, money spent by political parties in coordination with candidates in an effort to influence elections.

The case -- Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee -- will be argued early in 2001, too late to have an impact on the current election campaign. It could, however, have a significant impact on future campaigns, depending on how the justices distinguish between "independent" and "coordinated" expenditures.

The Supreme Court's landmark 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo established that while political contributions may be limited without infringing free speech, it is harder to limit expenditures. The case now before the court makes the distinction between a candidate's expenditures and those of other groups whose spending supports the candidate.

The justices will have to determine if those expenditures, if coordinated, constitute contributions subject to limitations.



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