Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

Supreme Court Gets a Lesson in Political Campaigns

The Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a case that focuses on the constitutionality of aggregate limits on contributions to political campaigns. But according to Lyle Denniston, “what unfolded in the oral argument was an attempt — not notably successful — to penetrate the exquisite mysteries of turning dollars into election outcomes.”

“Justice Elena Kagan, for example, suggested an elaborate scheme of financial manipulation in which the leaders of a political party in the House of Representatives could put pressure on donors to put money into a big pot to help out threatened candidates of that party.  And Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., suggested that actual campaign finance does not really work that way, that money-seeking candidates don’t really collaborate for mutual advantage.”

“At times, it sounded as if it were a debate that one might hear in Congress on potential new campaign finance legislation, rather than a courtroom debate over the limits of the First Amendment as applied to campaign contributions.”

  • DownriverDem

    Supreme repubs will vote to allow any and all money. They are voting to destroy our country. They don’t give a damn. They are just political hacks.

    • stasis

      All that bought them last time was a wave of Tea Party primary challenges, incumbent losses, and a civil war. I’m not worried.

  • stasis

    Citizens United exploded in the GOP’s collective face. I don’t see a lifting of the cap on aggregate limits on contributions as having a much different outcome. Thank god the Republicans are always betting on the wrong horse.

  • jf

    If your average voter is over 50 and white, then you have to turn on the money spigot and suppress the vote for as long as you can. Of course, you could rethink your policy positions, but, no, let’s go with the other two.

  • Chicago_Joe

    “Justice Elena Kagan, for example, suggested an elaborate scheme of
    financial manipulation in which the leaders of a political party in the
    House of Representatives could put pressure on donors to put money
    into a big pot to help out threatened candidates of that party. And
    Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., suggested that actual campaign finance
    does not really work that way, that money-seeking candidates don’t
    really collaborate for mutual advantage.”

    Maybe I’m misreading the question, but what the heck does Alito think the DCCC and NRCC do, exactly?

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