The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to expand the time allotted for the much-anticipated argument Sept. 9 in Citizens United v. FEC. In addition to the 30 minutes for former Solicitor General Theodore Olson on behalf of Citizens United, and 30 minutes for Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the FEC, 10 minutes will go to Seth Waxman, also a former SG, to argue for the sponsors of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, and 10 minutes for famed First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams to represent Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in support of Citizens United.
We reported here last week that Olson, now with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, opposed participation by Abrams, of Cahill Gordon & Reindel. But the Court apparently wanted to hear arguments from both sides of the original debate over McCain-Feingold, part of which will be at issue in the September argument. The Court asked for a second round of argument to discuss whether important precedents barring direct corporate spending in campaigns should be re-examined.
Also Monday, the Court announced a new lineup of circuit assignments to reflect the presence of new Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor takes over the handling of emergency matters for the western 10th Circuit from Justice Stephen Breyer. The 2nd Circuit, where she served until joining the high court, remains the bailiwick of fellow New Yorker Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This article first appeared on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.