News on a closely watched campaign finance case today:



From the Associated Press:

The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

The justices said in a 5-4 vote that 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.

The decision 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 already can spend unlimited amounts on attacks ads and other outlets that have played an increasingly important role in campaigns.

But the court’s decision does not undermine limits on individual contributions to candidates for president or Congress, now $2,600 an election.

Chief Justice John Roberts announced the decision, which split the court’s liberal and conservative justices. Roberts said the aggregate limits do not act to prevent corruption, the rationale the court has upheld as justifying contribution limits.

Here is the ruling from SCOTUS.

Lachlan Markay is tweeting many quotes from the decision (too many to embed here!).

We will update this post with reactions to the decision.


Left-wing CREDO Action (part of CREDO Mobile) decried the decision and is calling for action:

In today’s case, McCutcheon vs. FEC, the Supreme Court decided that the wealthiest Americans could give the maximum donation to as many federal candidates, political committees and parties as they wanted. The wealthiest donors tend to support candidates who will promote the pro-corporate agenda that made them wealthy in the first place. And if we don’t turn back from this path soon, the U.S. will become a plutocracy governed by the corporations, for the corporations.

[…] The majority on the current Supreme Court look at corporations and see a people entitled to First Amendment rights. They won’t even acknowledge the appearance of corruption, let alone the presence of corruption, when our election system is awash in campaign cash doled out by a small handful of incredibly wealthy donors and corporations.

We know whose side Antonin Scalia and the Citizens United majority of the court are on. So we’re sending them a new set of robes [ed. note: the robes are “complete with corporate logos,” including logos for Koch, Walmart and Monsanto, among others].

Complete the form on this page to add your name to the card we’ll deliver along with the robes.

Twitchy has got a good roundup of tweets, which include a whole lot of angst directed at…the Koch brothers.


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