In December '03, the court narrowly upheld the soft money ban. To most people, it was a no brainer. The potential for corruption vastly outweighs the 1st Amendment consideration. But not so to the Wadical White Wing of our One-Party Government...
Supreme Court Upholds Political Money Law (washingtonpost.com): "'The idea that large contributions to a national party can corrupt or create the appearance of corruption of federal candidates and officeholders is neither novel nor implausible,' the majority said. 'There is substantial evidence in these cases to support Congress' determination that contributions of soft money give rise to corruption and the appearance of corruption.'
The court said Congress also has power to act against all or any 'circumventions,' of campaign laws, whether in the form of 'soft money' or sham 'issue ads.'
The justices rejected as 'unpersuasive' arguments that the new provisions intrude on constitutionally protected rights of free speech and free political association. They similarly rejected claims that the soft money restrictions cut too deeply into the prerogatives of the states to regulate elections.
On the main provisions of the law, Stevens and O'Connor were joined by Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist dissented from the primary holdings, as did Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. "
... Look at the 4 dissenters -- if this landmark legislation had come up after the next Bush appointment, it would have been struck down without a doubt.