Independents could break Federal Election Commission impasse

By Theresa Amato

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will have many effects, but at least one has not been widely discussed: It will expose further the partisan paralysis of the FEC as an “independent” regulatory commission.

The court’s decision to overturn the longstanding prohibition on independent corporate political expenditures will now require the FEC to revamp major parts of its regulatory scheme while being ideologically deadlocked.

Formal action at the six-member “bipartisan” commission requires four votes, but the body has routinely split 3-3 on the difficult questions.

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