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Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.494 U.S. 652, 110 S. Ct. 1391, 108 L. Ed. 2d 652 (1990)

Brief Fact Summary. This case raises the issue of the constitutionality of a Michigan Statute, which prohibits corporate political expenditures, with the exception of those expenditures made from a segregated fund.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a State seeks to regulate corporate political expenditures, it is not in abrogation of the corporation’s First Amendment constitutional rights, if the state sets guidelines regarding the origin of the funds.


Facts. The Appellee, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce (Appellee), possessed a segregated political fund, but wished to use money from its general treasury fund to place a political advertisement. The Appellee brought suit in District Court, seeking injunctive relief against Michigan’s statutory scheme, arguing that the restriction of expenditures was facially unconstitutional.

Issue. This case considers whether Michigan’s restrictions on corporate political expenditures can be constitutionally applied to the Appellee

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