Challenge: Try and find a U.S. Supreme Court ruling making super PACs legal?
More specifically find the ruling allowing unlimited private individual funds to be given to a super PAC to support a candidate for office.
Where is this ruling people speak of?
The answer is it doesn't exist.
Here is what does exist.
#1 Citizens United
No dispute, however, it doesn't apply to individuals.
#2 SpeechNow March 26, 2010
Big problem here. For starters. This was NOT the U.S. Supreme Court. This was a ruling by United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Further, most cherry pick one line and ignore the full ruling. Here is the file for SpeechNow Ruling
The contribution limits...violate the First Amendment by preventing plaintiffs from donating to SpeechNow in excess of the limits and by prohibiting SpeechNow from accepting donations in excess of the limits. We should be clear, however, that we only decide these questions as applied to contributions to SpeechNow, an independent expenditure–only group. Our holding does not affect, for example, § 441a(a)(3)’s limits on direct contributions to candidates.This Court clearly kept contribution limits direct to candidates.
#3 National Organization for Marriage Ruling January 31, 2012
This ruling by another U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court and they declined the appeal.
The ruling helped define "direct contributions to candidates". The test has nothing to do with super PACs being independent from canidates. The test is the reasonable person test. The Court wants to know if a reasonable person watching the transaction between the campaign contributor and the super PAC have an understanding.
If the understanding is the money will go to help elect a specific candidates, then contributions to super PACs count as "direct contributions to candidates".
Should anyone care to read the ruling in detail and interpret the Court's meaning differently you can read the full ruling here. NOM Ruling January 31, 2012
A. Neither Citizens United, nor SpeechNow rulings removed the individual limits for "direct contributions to candidates".
B. National Organization for Marriage clarifies how to identify a "direct contributions to candidates".
If anyone can show me different I will take you out aboard my yacht for drinks. More on super PAC lawsuit can be read here: Super PAC Lawsuit Introduction
Philip B. Maise