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California: ACRU defending Edwards-backer in campaign-finance prosecution

TPM Muckraker reports: A heavy-hitting group of conservative lawyers led by Ken Starr and Ed Meese is jumping to the defense of a Democratic trial lawyer and major John Edwards backer. ...

To explain: The American Civil Rights Union -- a conservative legal organization whose policy board counts Starr and Meese, and several other prominent right-wing lawyers as members -- has filed an amicus brief in a key campaign-finance case.

Pierce O'Donnell, a high-profile Los Angeles trial lawyer, is charged with reimbursing employees of his law firm for contributions to Edwards's 2004 presidential bid, in violation of campaign-finance law. A judge ruled in O'Donnell's favor this summer, finding that the law under which O'Donnell had been charged did not explicitly prohibit reimbursing donors, but the case is now on appeal.

The ACRU says its concern is simply one of proper legal procedure. In its brief, the group argues that the government tried O'Donnell under the wrong statute -- one which doesn't cover his actions -- and therefore that convicting him "would transgress the fundamental rights and liberties of American citizens, as in a rogue, authoritarian state, rather than an enlightened liberal society." -- Read the whole story --> Strange Bedfellows: To Weaken Campaign-Finance Law, Starr's Group Defends Edwards Backer | TPMMuckraker

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