This post is written by Free Speech for People Co-Founder and President Jeff Clements and is featured on the ACS Law Blog.

It reads:

The latest wrecking ball flailing around in the rubble of America’s election and campaign finance laws, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, will be argued in the Supreme Court on October 8. Once again we can expect counsel and some members of the Court to be on the lookout for deviant, “forbidden” thinking about money and democracy.

As in Citizens United in 2010, the Arizona public funding case in 2011 (American Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett), and the Montana challenge to Citizens United in 2012 (American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock), the McCutcheon plaintiffs ask five members of the Court to override longstanding law, ignore common-sense and historical conceptions of corruption, and denounce widely-shared American values such as equal participation in elections and self-government, to impose a preference for unregulated money in elections.

At issue is whether the federal aggregate contribution limits (currently $48,000 to candidates and $74,000 to party committees) violate freedom of speech under the First Amendment. One plaintiff is Shaun McCutcheon, CEO of a company that services the coal and mining industry. Although he was among a handful of people who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates and SuperPACs in the last election cycle, he claims that his freedom of speech is violated by the federal aggregate limit of $173,000. The other plaintiff is the Republican National Committee, whose members naturally wish to receive as much money as they can, and claim that the aggregate limits violate their freedom of speech.

The amicus brief of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has raised $15 million for his re-election bid in 2014 (87 percent of that from large donors and PACs), puts the argument clearly enough: The $173,000 aggregate contribution limits “impose severe burdens on the rights of speech and association for both the putative contributor and the putative recipients of the prohibited contributions.”

A three-judge District Court, in an opinion by Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, rejected that argument, and upheld the aggregate contributions limits as a permissible means of furthering the government’s anti-corruption and anti-circumvention interests that the Supreme Court, even after Citizens United, recognizes as valid.

You can read the post in full here.

Photo created by Racool_studio /