Money in Politics and the Supreme Court: Decades of Damage 

For four decades, the Supreme Court’s flawed approach to money in politics has gutted common-sense protections against the power of special interests and wealthy individuals. This defies our core democratic values, because the size of our wallets should not determine the strength of our voices.

The Court’s misplaced notion that we should limit political contributions or spending only to fight corruption or its appearance, and not to ensure we all have an equal voice in the critical decisions that affect our lives, has led to a series of damaging rulings, including 2010’s infamous Citizens United decision.

The practical effect: billions of dollars flowing into our elections from an elite group of wealthy individuals and corporations. Here we report on the direct impact on 2016 election spending or fundraising of four of the Supreme Court’s most significant money-in-politics cases: Buckley v. Valeo (1976), Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC (1996), Citizens United v. FEC (2010), and McCutcheon v. FEC (2014).