Last year, the Supreme Court ruled on a case involving an Alabama county that wanted to see key sections of the Voting Rights Act eliminated. Shelby County mostly got its wish. Southern states no longer have to have their voting rules vetted by the federal government. Now, an electrical engineer and Republican activist–Shaun McCutcheon, also from Alabama–has a case before the high court that threatens to upend the current status quo on campaign finance. Due any day now, the court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission could overturn a nearly 40-year-old law that limits what individuals give to campaigns and what they can give in total. Politicians and activists are watching closely because in 2010 the Roberts court overturned a century’s worth of law with its Citizens United ruling that allowed unlimited contributions and contributions by corporations to certain kinds of political committees.
The ruling was decried by Democrats and hailed by most Republicans and led to an arms race in campaign spending–one that, ironically, the Democrats joined and have done well at. Last year, the three biggest Democratic super congressional election PACs raised over $22 million— four times more than the total raised by their five GOP rivals
Now the court is dealing with a somewhat different question: contributions directly to campaigns and parties rather than those mysterious groups with cheerful names. (Paid for by “Americans for Apple Pie.”)
Full Article: Justices Poised to Rule on Citizens United 2.