Skip to main content

Well, so much for aggregate campaign finance limits.

Paul Blumenthal Become a fan paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com">The Supreme Court Has Struck Down Overall Campaign Contribution Limits

The 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was penned by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. The decision relies heavily on the assertion in the 2010 Citizens United ruling that influence and access are not a corruption concern.

In a separate supporting opinion Justice Clarence Thomas agreed but went further calling for an end to all campaign finance reform.

The victory for the Alabama businessman and major Republican Party donor Shaun McCutcheon, who was joined by the Republican National Committee in his challenge, means that a single donor will soon be able to contribute millions of hard dollars -- in limited contributions -- to political parties, candidates and political action committees.

"With the ruling, we continue to chip away at the long entrenched status quo from the grassroots -- a status quo that has kept challengers, better ideas, and new entrants to the political arena mostly locked out," McCutcheon said in a statement. "Ensuring that citizens are able to contribute to multiple candidates or causes who share their views only provides further support to a system in which 'We the People' hold the ultimate reins of power."

Advocates of campaign limits were not pleased:
"With its decision today in McCutcheon, the Supreme Court majority continued on its march to destroy the nation's campaign finance laws, which were enacted to prevent corruption and protect the integrity of our democracy," Democracy 21 president Fred Wertheimer said in a statement.
(Update) This ruling only applies to the aggregate limits in the House and Senate not to the individual limits which are still in place. A Chicago Tribune article in an update goes into more detail. I will put detailed paragraphs from other newspapers in the updates now that we have the headlines.  

9:29 AM PT: Correction to title adding word aggregate. Individual caps were left in place. Sorry. I have a Chicago Tribute article that makes this more clear I am adding now.

9:32 AM PT: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday expanded how much political donors can give candidates and parties in federal elections by striking down a key pillar of campaign finance law.

In a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority struck down Watergate-era aggregate limits that barred political donors from giving more than $123,000 a year in total to candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives or Senate.

The ruling leaves in place base limits on how much a donor can give individual candidates and laws that require candidates, parties and political action committees to disclose information about donors.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing on behalf of the court, said the justices did not reach the question of whether to overturn a key 1976 ruling, called Buckley v. Valeo, which upheld limits on campaign finance donations while also describing how courts should analyze such regulations. Justice Clarence Thomas, who voted with Roberts, said the court had gone further than the chief justice claimed.

Roberts said the previous restriction violated free speech rights. I'm going to get other newspaper reports so we can get more details now that these have given us the headlines.


9:54 AM PT: Please check out my April Fools post about the Koch brothers imitating Markos' "Crashing the Gates" with Crashing the Estates and setting up The Daily Kochs website for billionaires to replace democracy with oligarchy - it's a real chuckler.

"Crashing the Estates: The Rise of Corporate Powered Politics and The Daily Kochs"

Originally posted to HoundDog on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site