Opinion: The Supreme Court might strike down overall contribution limits. And that’s okay.

by - October 15, 2013

Reformers say a ruling in favor of Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama resident who would like to contribute more than the current biennial limits permit, opens the door to corruption because it allows a donor to buy off an entire legislature one-by-one (assuming each representative can be bought by a $2,600 contribution).  This argument seems tenuous and a majority of Justices during oral arguments did not seem to buy it. Consider that the average cost of winning a seat for Congress is about $1.4 million, which means that a $2,600 contribution is about 0.18 percent of the total. Given that a base limit ($2,600) is in place to prevent the quid pro quo between a donor and candidate, the conservative Justices seemed skeptical that the government should be allowed under the First Amendment to restrict individuals from donating to as many candidates as they would like.

The Supreme Court might strike down overall contribution limits. And that’s okay.

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