State campaign contribution limits could be on the line today at the Supreme Court

8
Oct

State campaign contribution limits could be on the line today at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case about campaign contribution limits that could end up having implications for some state regulations.

The case itself — McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission — is all about federal rules. McCutcheon, an Alabama businessman and GOP donor, wants the federal government to remove a limit of $123,200 on overall contributions an individual can make in a two-year cycle. (FEC rules also limit individual contributions to candidates, party committees and political action committees, all subject to the aggregate limit.)

If McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, who together filed the case, get their way, individuals would potentially be able to donate millions of dollars per cycle. They say the limit is a violation of free speech rights. Supporters argue it maintains a level playing field and helps to prevent corruption.

A ruling would affect a small group — only 646 individuals bumped up against that aggregate limit during the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets blog.

But state laws with lower limits may hang in the balance, too. That’s because the rationale that upholds or dismantles the aggregate limit may end up applying to those limits, too. And roughly 10 states have such rules, experts say.

via State campaign contribution limits could be on the line today at the Supreme Court.

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