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Figure rolling in $100 bills.
Mitch McConnell's fondest desire.
The Supreme Court could blow campaign finance limits out of the water this session. Arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission will be heard Tuesday.
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the lawsuit challenging the total amount of money a single donor can give to all federal candidates could have far-reaching implications for the way campaigns and political parties are financed.

The court’s 2010 Citizens United decision has entered the vernacular as shorthand for the explosion of money in politics. That case, along with another that allowed the creation of super PACs, led to donors writing multimillion-dollar checks. Because of the way modern campaigns are financed — by candidates partnering with federal, state and local parties — McCutcheon’s lawsuit could have the consequence of allowing politicians to ask a single donor for $1 million a pop, or more. [...]

Though the case deals only with the total donation cap, the court could use the opportunity to undercut—or toss—the laws governing contribution limits to candidates. Or, more likely, it could crack open the door for other challenges that would further roll back the campaign-finance system that has been in place since the early 1970s.

In a not-encouraging sign, the Court has given Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's lawyers 10 minutes of the hour-long argument to argue for McCutcheon, even though McConnell is not directly involved in the case at all. McConnell, however, is deeply committed to the cause of raising as much money as he possibly can for his re-election, in the name of the First Amendment, of course.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:46:55 PM PDT

  •  Shall I predict? (3+ / 0-)

    I think they'll decide in a 5-4 split to allow unlimited funds to campaigns.

    Why not?  They're practically at that point now anyway.

    The only thing missing is our Congress Critters wearing logo patches of the corporations or financial institutions who pay them the most.

    'Nuff said.

    Corporate Flag of America

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:55:01 PM PDT

    •  NonnyO - that's not the issue before the Court (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, MeToo, FarWestGirl, Adam B

      McCutcheon is not asking for any increase in the limit allowed to any candidate by individuals or PACs or the limits on contributions to party committees. The case is exclusively about aggregate limits. Currently individuals are limited  in the total amount they can give to all candidates, even if each individual contribution is well within the current law. That's what this case is about.

      We have had several diaries on this case, all of which have been confusing to the readers. I am hoping Adam will write something tomorrow after the case has been argued. If not, I may have to write one.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:18:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yertle comes to the Bar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 03:56:46 PM PDT

  •  Personally, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not really certain we need politicians anymore.  Elected representatives, with all their rules and procedures and points-of-order this and yield-the-floor that are just acting as an unnecessary bureaucratic layer that hampers the way folks with truckloads of money get anything they want.  Slows the whole thing down, all these gestures toward accountability.

  •  They okayed CU, they'll okay this. (0+ / 0-)

    American Democracy for sale, and we're seeing it now with the Koch's calling the shots on the shutdown/debt ceiling hostage taking right now.  The two brothers are each worth $15B, they can fund whole campaigns if this goes through - and they will.  It will be NC's Art Pope, but on a national level.  

    These teabaggers will vote however Koch's tell them, and in return they'll get million dollar donations to their campaigns.

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers -

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:04:13 PM PDT

    •  JJ - even if McCutcheon wins (0+ / 0-)

      Each Koch brother could only contribute a maximum of $2,600 for the primary and $2,600 for the general. Hardly enough to buy the campaign. Under Citizens United they can make unlimited independent expenditures but the amounts they could give to the actual campaign committee of each candidate would not change. Limits to individual campaigns are not an issue in this case.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:22:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great information on all cases before the SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

    is available on Here is a link to the information on McCutcheon v FEC.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:38:22 PM PDT

  •  Tax on contributions (less expenses of volunteers) (0+ / 0-)

    is worth considering as a way to

    1. extract some value from John Roberts' recent upholding of the US taxing power,

    2. increase government revenues,

    3. apply the principle of "taxing more of want you want less of", and

    4. make contributors pay closer to the full value of the influence they are buying.

    Each candidate could have an exemption amount (for example, each Congressional candidate's first 100K of contributions would be exempt from the tax).

    It might be useful for candidates' use of volunteer campaign workers to be encouraged by calculating 'adjusted taxable contributions' that are the net amount after deducting certain (the first 100K?) amount that is spent on equipping volunteers for campaign work.

    •  A tax proposal would have to start in the House (0+ / 0-)

      and given that House members would like more, not less, contributions to their campaigns I don't think your idea will receive much traction.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 11:24:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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