There are enormous stakes for the country in the campaign finance case the Supreme Court agreed to review this week. If the Supreme Court strikes down the existing limits on the aggregate amount an individual can give to all federal candidates and all party committees in a two-year election cycle, the Justices will create a system of legalized bribery in Washington. Such a decision by the Court would be a gold mine for big donors interested in buying government decisions and would wreak havoc on the interests of ordinary Americans. McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the case to be considered by the Supreme Court, involves a challenge by Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee to the constitutionality of the federal aggregate contribution limits, upheld by the Supreme Court in 1976 in Buckley v. Valeo.
A decision by the Court to reverse that decision would not only strike down the aggregate contribution limits enacted in 1974, but would also eviscerate an essential anti-corruption provision enacted in 2002 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003 in McConnell v. FEC. That provision prohibits a federal officeholder or candidate from soliciting contributions that do not comply with the federal contribution limits, including the aggregate limits.
If the aggregate limits are struck down, officeholders would be able to directly solicit the huge contributions from individual donors that the solicitation ban is intended to prohibit.