By a 5-4 vote along the usual “conservative versus liberal” fault line, the Supreme Court has struck down aggregate limits on political contributions. Currently, the federal government restricts the amount of money a person may contribute to a political candidate, party, or PAC — these are called “base limits.” Base limits were not the subject of this case, McCutcheon et al vs FEC; instead the issue was the total amount a person may contribute, complying with base limits, across multiple candidates, parties, and committees. The effect of aggregate limits was to limit the number of candidates, parties, or PACs a donor could contribute to (without having to reduce contribution amounts to comply with the aggregate limit).
As the Court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice John (“Obamacare is really a tax”) Roberts, lays out,
For the 2013—2014 election cycle, the aggregate limits in BCRA (the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as “McCain-Feingold”) permit an individual to contribute a total of $48,600 to federal candidates and a total of $74,600 to other political committees. Of that $74,600, only $48,600 may be contributed to state or local party committees and PACs, as opposed to national party committees. All told, an individual may contribute up to $123,200 to candidate and non-candidate committees during each two-year election cycle.
As of today, those limits no longer exist.
The majority’s decision is a tremendous blow for political liberty and free speech — which is no doubt driving Democrats crazy at this moment. Just wait until you read the next round of “The evil Koch Brothers” panic coming to MSNBC and an editorial page near you in the next several hours.
Please read the entirety of my article for The American Spectator here:
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