Supreme Court to consider eliminating political contribution limit

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has agreed to go beyond its controversial Citizens United decision and consider striking down the limit on the total amount that wealthy persons may give to candidates and political parties.

The justices voted to hear an appeal from an Alabama donor and the Republican National Committee, which contends the total contribution limit of $123,200 per election cycle is “unconstitutionally low.”

The case, to be heard in the fall, will focus on a little-known part of the campaign finance laws that set a total limit on contributions by individuals. Under these laws, individuals may give no more than $123,200 for each two-year election cycle. This includes a $2,500 limit for a federal candidate running for office and up to $30,800 per year to the political committees established by the national parties.

If the court were to strike down the limit, wealthy persons could write a single check for more than $1 million a year, which a political party could spread among several hundred candidates who were running for the House and Senate, said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21 and longtime advocate of the campaign finance laws.

Last year, a three-judge court in Washington upheld the limits on the grounds that the Supreme Court has consistently said that contributions to candidates can be restricted.

By contrast, the high court has said individuals may spend freely on their own for political ads and campaign messages. Three years ago, the court cited this free-spending rule in the Citizens United decision and ruled that corporate groups and unions may spend unlimited sums to back candidates.

That decision did not affect the limits on direct contributions to candidates and parties.

The new case, Shaun McCutcheon vs. FEC, is not an attack on the limits an individual may give to a single candidate. Instead, the court will decide on whether Congress had a valid justification for limiting an individual’s total contributions to candidates and parties.

—-

&Copy;2013 Tribune Co.

Visit Tribune Co. at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

—————

Topics: t000196637,t000002953,t000047694,t000047683,t000138231,t000047681,t000047680

More in Local News

Spikes put end to ride from Seattle to Everett in stolen car

Two men were taken into custody at the bottom of Marine View Drive off I-5.

2 arrested after Marysville shooting leaves man brain dead

The victim had shown 1 suspect — a friend — a stack of money he won at the casino, police said.

Water to be shut off for some homes, districts next week

The pipe closing will affect mainly the Snohomish and Monroe areas.

Election results are finalized for school tax measures

More than 135,000 ballots were cast, a turnout of about 31 percent.

Section of W. Marine View Drive will be closed Saturday

A footbridge is being torn down between Everett Ave. and the Naval Station entrance.

Faith Calendar for Feb. 24 to March 10, 2018

EVENTS Purim banquet: Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County holds a “Purim… Continue reading

Everett council defers decision on methadone clinic zoning

Councilmembers asked to see more information on potential options in the weeks ahead.

Front Porch

A main strip of Everett’s waterfront… Continue reading

Two more suspects identified in shooting death of casino winner

The two, who have ties to Everett, Mount Vernon and Bellingham, remain at large.

Most Read