Influence, Affluence, and the First Amendment

Played Dungeons & Dragons in high school.  Picked on by jocks.

Influence

The Court’s ruling in the McCutcheon v. FEC case was the right decision. At issue was whether or not Americans have a right to spend as much of their own money as they see fit to support favored political candidates and parties. In a 5 to 4 decision the Supreme Court found that Americans do have that right under the First Amendment.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, federal law placed two types of restrictions on Americans. The first restriction limits how much you can give directly to political candidates and political parties. The restriction is based on the idea that no individual should have excessive influence with any particular candidate or party. The idea is to prevent a single donor from bankrolling an entire campaign. This restriction is still federal law and was not immediately impacted by the McCutcheon case.

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