Monday, a three-judge court ruled that the ban on the majority of foreign donations to U.S. political campaigns is constitutional.
Federal law states that donations to political parties or campaigns must come from U.S. citizens and permanent-resident aliens.
Monday’s ruling by a panel of two district court judges and one appeals court judge struck down a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Canadian man and a Canadian-Israeli woman who work and live in the U.S. Since the pair do not have permanent residence in America, they are not permitted to donate.
One of the panel members, Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote, “The Supreme Court has drawn a fairly clear line: the government may exclude foreign citizens from activities ‘intimately related to the process of democratic self-government.” His opinion, which was shared by the other two judges, District Court Judges Ricardo Urbina and Rosemary Collyer, went on to say, “Politicial contributions and express-advocacy expenditures are an integral aspect of the process by which Americans elect officials to federal, state, and local government offices.”
Kavanaugh added, “It is fundamental to the definition of our national political community that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government.”
The ruling may be appealed straight to the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawyers for the Canadians said they are considering it as an option.