The US Supreme Court on Wednesday took another big bite out of current campaign finance law, striking down a nearly 40-year-old measure capping the total amount of money individuals could donate to political campaigns and parties. Hanging over today’s court ruling in McCutcheon v FEC is the spectre of the 2010 Citizens United v FEC decision, which allowed corporations and labour unions to make unlimited donations to independent political action committees (super PACs) and fund issue advocacy advertising. This contributed to a general mood on the left and among campaign finance advocates of resigned outrage. “The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on Wednesday striking down aggregate limits on political campaign contributions is no less destructive for being so widely predicted,” writes Jesse Wegman in the New York Times. “This latest outburst of judicial activism in the struggle to render campaign finance laws completely toothless is merely accelerating a historical process that is coming to seem almost inevitable,” he writes.
Ari Berman in the Nation decries what he sees as the misplaced priorities of Supreme Court, which praises the first amendment freedom of speech when tearing down campaign finance laws but ignores 15th amendment civil rights protections as it strikes down voting rights acts.
“A country that expands the rights of the powerful to dominate the political process but does not protect fundament rights for all citizens doesn’t sound much like a functioning democracy to me,” he writes.
According to ThinkProgress’s Ian Millhiser, this decision will allow state political parties to legal funnel money to any political campaign, opening up a huge loophole in the limits on donations to individual candidates.
“Wealthy donors now have a broad new power to launder money to political candidates – they just have to be a bit creative about how they do it,” he writes.
Full Article: BBC News – Another blow to campaign finance law.