Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BREAKING, READ: U.S. Supreme Court Opinion In McCutcheon, Striking Down Aggregate Contribution Limits (Campaign Finance)

(Note:  Arizona's Supreme Court is also issuing a key campaign finance opinion this morning, in Clean Elections v. Bennett.  The Court already has ordered that an injunction in the case should be vacated, allowing much higher campaign contribution limits passed by the Legislature last year - HB2593 - to go into effect for this year's campaign; the detailed opinion will be released today.)

The U.S. Supreme Court has just taken another step towards dismantling campaign finance regulations (federal, but with effects on many state laws), ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission that aggregate contribution limits are unconstitutional because they do not prevent "quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption." (quote from the syllabus of the case)

The 5-4 decision (with Justice Clarence Thomas separately concurring and saying that the Court should have gone further and overruled Buckley v. Valeo) strikes down the $48,600 aggregate limit - the maximum amount that an individual can contribute to all federal candidates in a two-year period.

The decision can be read here.  (Arizona's Politics will be writing further on the effects of this decision.)

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