WASHINGTON -- The SEC told a federal appeals court Friday that the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's political contributions rule imposes only a minimal restraint on dealers' right to express themselves and therefore does not violate the First Amendment.

The Securities and Exchange Commission made that and other arguments in a 50-page brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that responds to a constitutional challenge filed April 26 by Alabama bond dealer William B. Blount to the MSRB's controversial pay-to-play Rule G-37.

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