U.S. Supreme Court drops another barrier to big campaign giving

Posted by Ralph Schwartz on April 2, 2014 

Was today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down aggregate limits on campaign contributions "a vindication for all those who support robust, transparent political discourse" or "a small step, but another step on the road to ruination?"

Clearly, it depends on whom you ask. In general, Republicans are applauding and Democrats bemoaning the latest SCOTUS decision on campaign contributions.

The first quote was taken from the AP story on the decision and was from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. The second, from the same story, was U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

The High Court followed up its 2010 Citizens United decision removing limits on spending on independent campaigns with today's ruling on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. It removes the limit on what an individual donor can give to all candidates and parties combined. Limits on donations to individual candidates remain in place.

A couple helpful paragraphs from the AP story:

 

The decision wipes away the overall limit of $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. It will allow the wealthiest contributors to pour millions of dollars into candidate and party coffers, although those contributions will be subject to disclosure under federal law. Big donors, acting independently of candidates and parties, already can spend unlimited amounts (thanks to Citizens United -RS) on attacks ads and other campaign efforts that have played an increasingly important role in elections.

The justices left in place limits on individual contributions to each candidate for president or Congress, now $2,600 per election.

 

Twitter is lighting up this morning on the issue. A Twitter search for "SCOTUS campaign" yields results such as these:

 

 

  1. SCOTUS has gutted campaign finance in and allowed for a new era of unbridled political corruption.

  1. SCOTUS decision removes campaign donation limits. Now filthy rich people will finally have a say in the electoral process. 

  1. guts another campaign finance law: aggregate limits. Can we stop pretending that we don't live in an Oligarchy now?

 

Fewer conservatives have been inspired to wax to the tune of 140 characters over this decision, but let's seek some balance here:

  1. My opinion, all campaign contributions = speech and expression and are protected by got this one right

  1. In a stunning victory for the 1st Amendment, strikes down certain campaign limits. Some may object to...

  1. SCOTUS: "Why should there be limits on indiv. campaign contributions? Yankees have way more money than other teams and everyone LOVES them!"

  1. The Left will pretend it's mad about the SCOTUS campaign finance decision, but as with Citizens United, it will be the biggest beneficiary.

 

Wait, I'm thinking Aaron Fullerton was being sarcastic after all.

 

 

 

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