First Amendment: Federal appeals court rejects challenge to ban on campaign contributions from foreign nationals

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals turned down a challenge to a federal law banning foreign nationals from donating to state and local election campaigns. The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 on the ban, but the decision only dealt with federal elections. The case involved a political consultant in a San Diego mayor’s race whose work was financed by a Mexican national and real estate developer with substantial interests in the U.S. but who was not a permanent resident. (Politico, May 16, 2019, by Josh Gerstein)

The 9th Circuit relied on Bluman v. FEC in concluding that the federal government may not extend full First Amendment rights to foreign nationals in the interests of preserving democratic self-government. (Constitutional Law Prof Blog, May 20, 2019, by Steven D. Schwinn)