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Next Citizens United? McCutcheon Supreme Court Case Targets Campaign Contribution Limits

Huffington Post

The next big campaign finance case to go before the Supreme Court began in February 2012 in the grand ballroom at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel during the "Ronald Reagan Banquet" at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Alabama electrical engineer and budding political donor Shaun McCutcheon broached a problem in conversation with conservative election lawyer Dan Backer, who one day earlier had led a CPAC panel on rolling back campaign finance laws in which he predicted that campaign contribution limits would soon rise. (...)

"The fact that they are setting their sights on even this most basic feature of campaign regulation just shows how far the conversation has shifted on campaign finance," said Brenda Wright, vice president for legal strategies at Demos and the lead author of an amicus brief opposing McCutcheon. "And it's really important for the court not to take that next step. The court really needs to put a stop to the damage that's been done to our campaign finance regulations."

In a string of amici briefs filed with the Supreme Court on July 25, campaign reform advocates argue that the elimination of the aggregate limits would open the door for candidates to solicit checks of over $1 million through joint fundraising committees and undermine the individual contribution limits by allowing donations to be shifted among an unlimited number of candidates and PACs.