(CNN) – The Republican National Committee is taking aim at the campaign finance reform law that is one of the trademark legislative achievements of the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain.
The RNC announced Thursday that it will file two lawsuits challenging portions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, a major overhaul of federal campaign finance law enacted in 2002 that ban so-called “soft money” from the federal elections and that is commonly referred to as the “McCain-Feingold” bill after its two Senate sponsors.
A suit to be filed in Louisiana federal district court challenges the law’s limits on the amount of money national and state political parties may spend in coordination with candidates for seeking federal offices.
A second suit to be filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., challenges the McCain-Feingold bill’s ban on the use of “soft money” for activities that are not related to campaigns for federal office.
The RNC is charging that challenged portions of the law violate the First Amendment. “The RNC must have the ability to support state candidates, coordinate expenditures with our candidates, and truly engage in political activity on a national level,” RNC chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement released Thursday. “The RNC has operated under and complied with these provisions of the law since their enactment, and as applied it is unconstitutional,” Duncan added.
Duncan and RNC lawyers are set to discuss the two suits with reporters in a conference call Thursday afternoon.