Salem protest against Supreme Court decision scheduled for Monday

April 4, 2014
Peter Wong

Local critics plan on Monday to show their disapproval of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning some limits on federal campaign contributions.

A sign-waving demonstration is planned from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sponsors have asked participants to gather at Liberty Street NE and Court Street. When the group gets large enough, some will move to Commercial Street NE and Court Street, and others may go to the foot of the Marion Street Bridge.

Organizers said the drive-time demonstration is not intended to march on city streets or impede traffic, but to make the protest visible to drivers at key intersections.

The organizer is Marion-Polk Move to Amend, the regional affiliate of a national movement that seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to remove the legal treatment of corporations as persons. It arose in 2010 after the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case loosened restrictions on corporate and union spending in campaigns.

Information: Rich Harisay at (503) 507-6147 or Sandra Oliver-Poore at (503) 569-3662.

The court’s latest decision, released Wednesday, struck down an overall two-year limit of $123,200 that a person can give to federal candidates, political parties and political action committees. The decision left intact a $2,600 contribution limit to a single candidate per election. Critics argue that it may be a matter of time before the court strikes down all limits as inconsistent with the federal constitutional guarantee of free speech.

Congress set limits in 1974, the court upheld them in 1976, and the limits were reset by Congress in 2002. But a series of court decisions dating back to 2007 loosened the restrictions.

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