In 2016, the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations can be registered as political parties, an unprecedented development in the country.
The ruling followed a 2014 decision by the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) that corporations could not be banned from participating in political parties or endorsing candidates, although they were required to register as political entities.
The decision paved the way for companies to begin participating in politics and was seen by many as an important step towards political reform.
In the meantime, the number of registered political parties had increased to 1,400, and the US House of Representatives passed a bill in 2018 to make it easier for corporations to form political parties.
A few months later, in November 2020, the Supreme Court overturned that decision, ruling that corporations should be able to form parties without having to disclose their donors.
The ruling was widely interpreted as an attempt to allow corporations to participate in the political process without fear of criminal prosecution.
But it also had wider implications.
Under the court’s ruling, corporations could now form parties and endorse candidates, potentially opening up the possibility for them to directly influence voters in future elections.
In November 2020 the US Senate approved a bill that would allow corporations and unions to form independent political parties and also to pay for them with corporate funds.
This bill was later vetoed by President Donald Trump.
Since the ruling, however, the legal landscape has changed significantly.
Under current US law, corporations are required to reveal the identities of their political donors, which is why the Senate bill was introduced.
However, the proposed Senate bill is also being challenged in court.
In a ruling released on Monday, the Trump administration argued that the proposed bill was a violation of the First Amendment, and called for an immediate injunction to prevent the bill from taking effect.
The Trump administration also filed a lawsuit challenging the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision, saying that the Trump Administration was attempting to create an “inverted process” by allowing corporations to register to participate as political groups without revealing their donors or their donors’ identities.
Under the Trump administrations version of the law, a corporation could not register as a political party if it is not a political action committee or super PAC, and a corporation may not register with the FEC if it does not have an active political committee or a super PAC.
Trump, meanwhile, continued to make his opposition to the legislation known, calling the proposal a “tax hike” and a “disgrace” that would cost jobs and hurt businesses.
Trump also made it clear that he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
The Trump Administration has already tried to undermine the law in court, arguing that the bill violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
The Supreme Court will decide whether the law is constitutional next year.
It is unclear whether Trump, who has repeatedly said he wants to abolish the US’s foreign aid, will be able see through the attempt to use the law to attack him, or whether the Trump-era Justice Department will prevail.
The bill will now need to go before the Trump Administrations judicial branch to be upheld.