The Supreme Court ruled on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission today, saying that “there is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders. Citizens can exercise that right in a variety of ways: They can run for office themselves, vote, urge others to vote for a particular candidate, volunteer to work on a campaign, and contribute to a candidate’s campaign. This case is about the last of those options.”
“The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment, but that right is not absolute. Our cases have held that Congress may regulate campaign contributions to protect against corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
So in a 5-4 vote the SCOTUS said
Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates.
But there will remain limited an individual may give to a particular candidate for congressional or presidential office. That limit remains at $2600 per election.
Justice Stephen Breyer was the dissenting opinion arguing that overall caps were necessary to reduce the power of one individual in determining the outcome of any particular election cycle.
Financial caps where put in place following Watergate to restore confidence in the political system.
Update: The Left is Seething and Comes out Swinging
- Scalia’s new disaster: Why McCutcheon decision is scarier than Citizens United
- Supreme Court Strikes Down Yet Another Campaign Contribution Regulation On 1%
- Harry Reid Uses Supreme Court Ruling On Campaign Donations To Bash The Koch Brothers
Interestingly, SooperMexican says – Worried About Big Money Donors ‘Stealing The Election’? Guess Where The Top Ten Donate To…