WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a case expected to move quickly to the Supreme Court, former Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and a group of prominent election law attorneys will argue that campaign finance legislation passed by Congress is unconstitutional.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, the chief opponent of campaign spending limits and the likely lead plaintiff in the case, announced his legal team Thursday. A day earlier, the Senate passed and sent to President Bush the most extensive changes in campaign finance law in a quarter-century.
Starr, who investigated the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky cases that led to the impeachment of President Clinton, will be joined by Floyd Abrams, a well-known First Amendment lawyer, and Kathleen Sullivan, dean of the Stanford Law School.
"These are perilous waters into which the Republic has now sailed," Starr said at a news conference with McConnell, R-Ky.
"The questions are grave, the questions are serious. It is now time for the courts to speak authoritatively to what the Congress has chosen to do."
McConnell said opponents plan to file their lawsuit before a three-judge panel in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with the expectation that it would move quickly to the Supreme Court.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the chief sponsor of the legislation with Sen. Russ Feingold, said he was confident the bill "will stand on its merits."
Feingold, D-Wis., said supporters would assemble a legal team, but that the Justice Department would have the primary responsibility for defending the measure once it becomes law.
Bush has said the legislation is flawed but that he would sign it.
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