Republican Party Loses Bid to Raise Unlimited Funds

The Republican National Committee will appeal today's campaign finance ruling to the Supreme Court.

A three judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington ruled Friday that it cannot overturn a Supreme Court ruling which upholds a ban on soft money fundraising by national party committees.

"Today's decision leaves special-interest groups and labor unions with more power to influence our elections than political parties," said Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson, who will represent the RNC before the Supreme Court.

Olson added, "We will demonstrate to the Supreme Court that the First Amendment does not tolerate that result."

The RNC argues that it should be able to raise soft money for activities that have nothing to do with federal elections, such as state elections and congressional redistricting.

The ban on soft money fundraising is one of the few parts of the McCain-Feingold law to survive multiple court challenges.