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McCutcheon v. FEC

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SCOTUS ruled on McCutcheon v. FEC on April 2nd, 2014. This case originated from Alabama when Shaun McCutcheon sued the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) when they forbid him from contributing above the aggregate contribution limits, the combined limit a person can donate to both candidates and committees. The issue throughout oral arguments is the difference between donating directly to candidates as oppose through PACs. McCutcheon and Republicans want to donate to unlimited amount of candidates as they wish. Under the current law, there’s a limit to how much one can donate to candidates and how much to prevent donors from circumventing the contribution laws.

Issue:

Are aggregate campaign contribution limits constitutional?

Holding:

  • aggregate limits: the combined limit of both candidates and committees are unconstitutional.

Conclusion

Congress may regulate contribution to prevent corruption or appearance of, but not reduce the amount of money or restrict political participation. Regulation must limit it self to corruption or appearance of it. Not acceptable to level the playing field. Disclosure minimize potential abuse of the campaign finance system. Court have a problem with ceiling on speech.

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