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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 18:06 GMT
US campaign finance reform upheld
Senator John McCain (Left) and Senator Russ Feingold
The law is named after its Senate champions John McCain and Russ Feingold
The United States Supreme Court has upheld key parts of a landmark campaign finance law designed to curb the influence of money in politics.

The nation's highest court ruled that it is legal to ban the unregulated contributions known as "soft money".

It also upheld restrictions on TV and radio "issue ads" by corporations and unions right before elections.

Congress approved the law and President Bush signed it in 2002, but a number of opponents challenged it.

The challengers included the Republican Party, the California Democratic Party, the AFL-CIO trades union federation, the National Rifle Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Chamber of Commerce business group.

Congressional sponsors defended the McCain-Feingold law - named after its Senate sponsors - as necessary to close loopholes and protect the integrity of elections.

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