Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release -- Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Contact Eric Tabor - 515-281-5191.

AG Miller Joins Other States in Asking U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Federal Campaign Finance Reform Law

DES MOINES.   - Twenty states today filed a "friend of the court brief" urging the United States Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), better known as McCain - Feingold.

"This campaign finance reform legislation is a serious effort by Congress to begin addressing many of the concerns that voters across Iowa -- and throughout the nation -- have with regard to the financing of federal elections," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. "By supporting the constitutionality of this federal legislation we hope to also support the proposition that the States have a similar ability to police their own campaigns and elections."

The amicus curiae or "friend of the court" brief was authored by the States of Iowa, Vermont and Connecticut in support of the federal government in McConnell v. FEC, the campaign finance reform case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Also signing onto the amicus brief were the States of Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also joined the amicus.

Miller noted that the amicus brief makes the point that BCRA is a constitutional exercise of Congress' power to regulate federal elections, and that the legal arguments forwarded by those attacking the reform legislation, if adopted, could seriously impair the ability of the states to enact meaningful campaign finance reforms.

The brief also makes the point that BCRA benefits the states and their citizens by addressing some of the campaign finance issues that have become a source of cynicism and distrust that undermine our political discourse. The brief encourages the Supreme Court to uphold BCRA, and allow both state and federal lawmakers to continue their efforts to find constitutional solutions to the pressing national problems relating to campaign finance.

Miller concluded by observing that the states share with Congress the responsibility for ensuring the integrity of elections and restoring the public's faith in government and that supporting this legislation is a positive step in that direction.

The case will be argued in front of the Supreme Court in September.

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