Supreme Court Hearing on Campaign Contribution Limits

The Paralegal Resource
October 9, 2013 — 1,422 views  
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The Supreme Court recently heard the arguments of the case on campaign contribution limits. This case between the Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon is about the central contribution rules. McCutcheon is a businessman from Alabama and is also a GOP donor. He is fighting the case to urge the central government to repeal the current limit on the overall contributions that individuals can make in a period of two years.

The election commission also presently limits individuals from contributing to party committees, candidates and political action committees. An individual is subject to the collective limit of $123,200 and is not allowed to contribute more than that.

What Change Will the Modification Of Contribution Limits Bring Out?

The Republican National Committee and McCutcheon filed this case together. If they happen to win the case, individuals will be allowed to donate as much of an amount as they please. They will even be able to make donations of millions of dollars in every cycle. According to them, putting a limit on donations is a form of violation of the rights of the individuals. On the other hand, other people and parties supporting them also believe that it is a good idea as it helps in preventing corruption.

According to the blog by Open Secretes Center for Responsive Politics, this ruling will only affect a small group of people. In the election cycle of 2012, close to 650 candidates happened to have issues with the existing aggregate contribution limit.

It Can Impact States with Lower Limits

This increase in the aggregate limit is also likely to have an impact on those states that have lower aggregate limits. This is because the same rationale, which is responsible for dismantling or upholding the aggregate limit, can also influence lower limits. Experts have said that at the moment there are 10 states that have lower aggregate limits. In case the verdict of the Supreme Court comes out in the favor of McCutcheon, these 10 states may have to revisit their aggregate limit policies.

On the other hand, some of the supporters of the existing aggregate limits have even compared this case to an old case by Citizens United. The latter allowed unrestricted independent corporate political spending. It had an impact on 22 states, which had similar rules. Some analysts argue that McCutcheon’s case will also have a similar effect, or even worse.

The Paralegal Resource