A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday that the Federal Election Commission can enforce a federal ban on so-called “soft money” contributions to political parties, in a case that’s being closely watched because of its potential to reach the Supreme Court.

The decision is one of two important campaign-finance rulings Friday. In the other, a case involving SpeechNow.org, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled unanimously en banc that the federal government cannot limit donations to independent political groups.

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