Wealth Alabama Republican Shaun McCutchen wanted to donate above the biennial of $117,000 to Republican candidates but was kept for doing so. So McCutchen filed a suit against the Federal Elections Commission in DC Circuit Court but the Circuit Court dismissed the case. McCutchen’s attorney will be making oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court.
Campaign finance reform has been controversial for over 100 years. President Theodore Roosevelt was an early advocate of campaign finance reform who called for limiting the rich people’s and special interest influence in politics, spending limits and public disclosure. The first major case on campaign finance reform was Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
In Buckley, the Court was asked to consider the constitutionality of the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971, 2 U.S.C. §§431-442 et seq,(1971). The law imposed restrictions on campaign contributions and expenditures, required candidates to disclose and keep records of their donations, and started a system to publicly finance presidential campaigns. The Court held that contribution are indirect and marginal limits on free speech; therefore, the Court upheld limits on contributions but not expenditures limits that were direct. Buckley, 424 U.S. at 21.
When President Bush Nominated John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the bench, it led to a shift in the Court from favoring restrictions to not favoring restrictions. Justice Thomas voted against every restriction since taking the bench in 1991. The Court demonstrated shift in In Fed. Elections Comm’n v. WI Right to life, 551 U.S. 449 (2007) when the Court ruled that issues ads can be run within 15 days of elections and In Citizens United v. Fed. Elections Comm’n, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010) when the Court ruled corporation and unions have the same right as citizens and overturned McConnell v. Fed. Elections Comm’n, 540 U.S.93 (2003) and McCain-Feingold Act. Supplies such as paper, ink, internet access and other necessities are used as tools to engage in the political process that cost money. In his dissent in the McConnell case, Thomas argued that PACs are important to America’s democratic system. He feared the ruling reduces the protection of free speech.