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Old 04-02-2014, 08:36 AM  
WhawhaWhat WhawhaWhat is offline
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The Supreme Court strikes down campaign donation limits

http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-voi...--finance.html

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.

The justices said in a 5-4 vote that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates.

But their decision does not undermine limits on individual contributions to candidates for president or Congress, now $2,600 an election.

Chief Justice John Roberts announced the decision, which split the court's liberal and conservative justices. Roberts said the aggregate limits do not act to prevent corruption, the rationale the court has upheld as justifying contribution limits.

The overall limits "intrude without justification on a citizen's ability to exercise 'the most fundamental First Amendment activities,'" Roberts said, quoting from the court's seminal 1976 campaign finance ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.

Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the outcome of the case, but wrote separately to say that he would have gone further and wiped away all contribution limits.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the liberal dissenters, took the unusual step of reading a summary of his opinion from the bench.

Congress enacted the limits in the wake of Watergate-era abuses to discourage big contributors from trying to buy votes with their donations and to restore public confidence in the campaign finance system.

But in a series of rulings in recent years, the Roberts court has struck down provisions of federal law aimed at limiting the influence of big donors as unconstitutional curbs on free speech rights.

Most notably, in 2010, the court divided 5-4 in the Citizens United case to free corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they wish on campaign advocacy, as long as it is independent of candidates and their campaigns. That decision did not affect contribution limits to individual candidates, political parties and political action committees.

Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover, Ala., the national Republican party and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky challenged the overall limits on what contributors may give in a two-year federal election cycle. The total is $123,200, including a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates, for 2013 and 2014.

Limits on individual contributions, currently $2,600 per election to candidates for Congress, are not at issue.

Relaxed campaign finance rules have reduced the influence of political parties, McConnell and the GOP argued.

McCutcheon gave the symbolically significant $1,776 to 15 candidates for Congress and wanted to give the same amount to 12 others. But doing so would have put him in violation of the cap.

Nearly 650 donors contributed the maximum amount to candidates, PACs and parties in the last election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The court did not heed warnings from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. and advocates of campaign finance limits that donors would be able to funnel large amounts of money to a favored candidate in the absence of the overall limit.

The Republicans also called on the court to abandon its practice over nearly 40 years of evaluating limits on contributions less skeptically than restrictions on spending.

The differing levels of scrutiny have allowed the court to uphold most contribution limits, because of the potential for corruption in large direct donations to candidates. At the same time, the court has found that independent spending does not pose the same risk of corruption and has applied a higher level of scrutiny to laws that seek to limit spending.

If the court were to drop the distinction between contributions and expenditures, even limits on contributions to individual candidates for Congress, currently $2,600 per election, would be threatened, said Fred Wertheimer, a longtime supporter of stringent campaign finance laws.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:45 AM   #2
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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JFC just what we need, the elected officials being more beholden to people and corporate interests, when the **** can we get rid of political contributions all together. It is absolutely corrupting the system despite any pretty little bow they try to put on it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:51 AM   #3
KC_Lee KC_Lee is online now
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
JFC just what we need, the elected officials being more beholden to people and corporate interests, when the **** can we get rid of political contributions all together. It is absolutely corrupting the system despite any pretty little bow they try to put on it.
Three words...Congressional Term Limits.

No more than 2 terms in the House and only 1 term in the Senate.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:00 AM   #4
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Lets just get it over with and make the Koch brothers king of the USA.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:02 AM   #5
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This has all the makings of an epic thread.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:23 AM   #6
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Lets just get it over with and make the Koch brothers king of the USA.
You can always tell the narrative the administration is pushing. The media has sure put the Koch brothers on everyones minds. You do realize the Koch brothers are nowhere near the top of the list of contributors right? Of course you don't. The media isn't cramming that narrative down your throat.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sd4chiefs View Post
Lets just get it over with and make the Koch brothers king of the USA.
George Soros approves of this thread
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:53 AM   #8
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This has all the makings of an epic thread.
The squealing is already making my day.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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Time to push the "War On Women" to even things out a bit.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
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I am getting really tired of this aweful court. Holding to strict interpretation on money and expression....but taxes that didn't originate in the House...ahh"whatever".
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #11
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If I were Suzzer or Dayemania, I'd say something like "it's clear that democrats just want to curb the free speech of Republicans."
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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I'm about as surprised about this as I am that congress has never been successful in voting through term limitations.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #13
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You know, if one side wants unfettered contributions, at least it's fair to everyone. Everyone has the same right, to contribute as much as they please.

When you start restricting groups who aren't friendly to you, or picking and choosing who can contribute and how much in order to game the system and give your friends more influence but not others, then you end up with these legal messes.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:14 AM   #14
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Corporations control elections. Republicans are in bed with corporations. That's why the GOP keeps getting Presidents elected.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KC_Lee View Post
Three words...Congressional Term Limits.

No more than 2 terms in the House and only 1 term in the Senate.
They tried that in California and it only made things worse.
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