Supreme Court Strikes Down Political Donation Limits
(CNN) — In another blow to federal election laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday eliminated limits on the total amount people can donate to various political campaigns in a single election season. However, the court left intact the current $2,600 limit on how much an individual can give to any single candidate.
At issue is whether those regulations in the Federal Election Campaign Act violate the First Amendment rights of contributors.
The divided 5-4 ruling could have an immediate impact on November’s congressional midterm elections, and add another layer of high-stakes spending in the crowded political arena.
“We conclude that the aggregate limits on contributions do not further the only governmental interest this court accepted as legitimate” said Chief Justice John Roberts, referring to a 1976 ruling. “They instead intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to express the most fundamental First Amendment activities.”
Roberts was supported by his four more conservative colleagues.
In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer said the majority opinion will have the effect of creating “huge loopholes in the law; and that undermines, perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform.”