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For decades, the least democratic federal legal institution in the United States has been custom tailoring the body of laws that have the most profound influence on the functioning of our democracy. In 1976 the Supreme Court ruled that political donations are a form of speech and deserve First Amendment protections. In 2010 they ruled that corporations are people and gave them power to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections without having to disclose anything. A new constitutional amendment in the Senate seeks to regain control of campaign finance laws for Congress and state legislature.

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The Week Ahead

July 26, 2010 - by Moshe Bildner

Here's a look ahead on some major issues facing Congress: campaign finance reform, energy reform, and immigration. On the first topic of fair elections, the DISCLOSE Act appears likely to be passed by the Senate this week. The future of the other two isseus is much less certain. On energy, if bipartisan support can be reached, then Sen. Reid's forthcoming new energy bill has a chance of becoming law. On immigration, observers are coming to consensus that comprehensive reform has little chance of passing before the November midterms -- but there's still lots happening on this important issue. Click through for more details and links to news coverage.

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Campaigning Under The Fair Elections Now Act

January 25, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Of the options being considered in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, one has taken shape in Congress: the Fair Elections Now Act - a measure allowing public financing of House and Senate campaigns.

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Second Try for Speedy Senate Disclosure

March 11, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

Sen. Russ Feingold has reintroduced the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, legislation that would force the Senate to provide speedy access to campaign finance information. Efforts to approve the bill during the 110th Congress were stifled by Republicans attempts to attach non-germane amendments and hold other bills hostage. In the 111th Congress, Sen. Pat Roberts is insisting on an amendment that would require outside groups to disclose their donors when filing ethics complaints against senators.

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