Target: Supreme Court of the United States
Goal: Maintain the current contribution limit for an individual during a campaign cycle.
In what is another move to erode the very foundation of American democracy, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to current campaign finance laws. This attack follows 2010’s landmark Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision, which allowed campaign donors (individuals, unions and corporations) to contribute unlimited amounts of cash to campaign ads if they were independent of the candidates and political parties. This time however, the target is the sum of money an individual can directly contribute to candidates or parties. Apparently, the current limit of $123,200 per election cycle is low enough to constitute an infringement on freedom of speech.
As it currently stands after the Citizens United case, donors are able to funnel as much money as they like to a campaign through what are known as Super Political Action Committees (Super PAC). Still, there is some semblance of a limitation to donations—even if it is only symbolic. Should the current case (McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission) strike down an individual’s limit for total spending on a given campaign, donors could easily contribute millions of dollars to a party to be spread among its candidates. The difference being that the Super PACs are, in theory at least, independent of the parties.
This is no small difference. By removing limits to an individual’s campaign contributions, the Supreme Court would effectively be saying that an individual, union, or corporation is free to influence political campaigns and elections as they see fit. Aside from being inherently undemocratic, when the Republican National Committee and McCutcheon first filed this case last year, a three-judge panel led by Judge Janice Rogers Brown, concluded that limits to an individual’s total contributions in a campaign cycle only has a “marginal” effect on an individual’s freedom of speech. Give that removing the donations limit would likely have more than a marginal effect on campaign finance—not to mention the legitimacy of the democratic process—we must fight to ensure that the limits are upheld. Sign below to show your support for limits to campaign finance.
Dear Justices of the Supreme Court,
After 2010’s landmark Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision allowing unlimited contributions to Super PACs, the foundation of America’s democracy began eroding. You now have in front of you McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission, which seeks to further erode the democratic process by removing the limit to campaign contributions all together.
If you rule in favor of Mr. McCutcheon you will effectively be saying that individuals, unions, and corporations are free to influence campaigns, elections and politics as they see fit. In no legitimate democracy is a group of individuals afforded the right or ability to influence political outcomes through the use of their enormous wealth; to do so would be tantamount to claiming rich people have more of a vote. Please maintain the legitimacy of our democratic process and uphold the limits to campaign finance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andifeelfine via Flickr