The Supreme Court Just Gutted Another Campaign Finance Law. Here’s What Happened.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday released its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the blockbuster money-in-politics case of the current term. The court's five conservative justices all agreed that the so-called aggregate limit on the amount of money a donor can give to candidates, political action committees, and political parties is unconstitutional. In a separate opinion, conservative justice Clarence Thomas went even further, calling on the court to overrule Buckley v. Valeo, the 1976 decision that concluded it was constitutional to limit contributions to candidates. [...]
The people who stand to benefit from McCutcheon are also the wealthy few who bankroll super-PACs on both sides of the aisle. According to the left-leaning think tank Demos, almost 60 percent of all super-PAC funding in the last election cycle came from 159 donors—that's two coach buses of people—who'd given $1 million or more. The casino magnate Sheldon Adelson alone reportedly gave $150 million in the 2012 election cycle. This Million-Dollar Donors Club rules the world of super-PACs, and critics of the McCutcheon ruling fear they'll now rule the world of candidates, PACs, and political parties, too.
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