High court divided over political donor limits
October 8th, 2013
12:08 PM ET
12 months ago

High court divided over political donor limits

Washington (CNN) - A free-speech legal fight over the fuel of partisan politics - the billions at stake in federal campaign donations - produced a predictably divided Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A spirited hour of oral arguments left in doubt whether current aggregate limits on direct campaign contributions by individuals - in the Federal Election Campaign Act - will be upheld.

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Filed under: Campaign finance • Supreme Court
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Donna

    Someone who gives that amount, said Justice Elena Kagan, would get "a very, very special place at the table," of grateful candidates and parties.
    -–

    You mean people like George Soros, the tiral lawyers and the labor unions that funnel many, many millions to the Democrats? Seems like the liberals and leftists are only concerned with restricting contributions of their ploitical opponents and not their political supporters. Just as they used the IRS to ham string the TEA party in the last two elections. Total government corruption perverting our federal government into a political attack machine for the Democrats.

    October 8, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The Tea Party is trying to circumvent the legislative process by issuing exective orders of their own. "Do it our way, or else." This cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue because it would destroy our Constitution. It flies in the face of what a Republic is supposed to be, which is affairs of state are made public. The Tea Party way has affairs of state being decided behind closed doors with large campaign donors calling the shots.

    October 8, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. jinx9to88

    Do away with it all!!! That will put a stop to the corruption in politics.

    October 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The Tea Party has been trying to circumvent the legislative process by issuing exective orders of their own. "Do it our way, or else." This cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue because it would destroy our Constitution. It flies in the face of what a Republic is supposed to be, which is affairs of state are made public. The Tea Party way has affairs of state being decided behind closed doors with large campaign donors calling the shots.

    October 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    But supporters of existing regulations say the law prevents corruption or the appearance of corruption. Without the limits, they say, one well-heeled donor could in theory contribute a maximum $3.6 million to the national and state parties,
    -------------------------------------------------
    Like Sandleson, The Koch Brothers et al.
    This is what the Republicans are REALLY, REALLY good at folks, keeping us distracted with one issue (the shutdown) while trying to quietly push s h it through the courts.
    They did it with Citzens United, they're trying it out now with individual contributions with no limits.
    Keep your eyes open folks. They're slicker than an oil spill.

    October 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    The Tea Party is trying to circumvent the legislative process by issuing exective orders of their own. "Do it our way, or else." This cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue because it would destroy our Constitution. It flies in the face of what a Republic is supposed to be, which is affairs of state are made public. The Tea Party way has affairs of state being decided behind closed doors with large campaign donors calling the shots.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Incredible isn't it Rudy, how people refuse to see these folks as pseudo-constitutionalists?
    The Teatards only relationship with the Constitution is in quoting convenient excerpts from it, much like a street preacher quotes excerpts from the Bible to back up his end of days narrative.
    Thus my suggestion that The Neutered turn his soapbox around to face the cray-crays in the House, the Tea Party, and school them as to the ways of our government and their blatant disregard for the democratic process.
    Our President, a professor of constitutional law and drafter of the ACA which withstood and surpassed constitutional scrutiny by the highest court in the land, certainly is not in need of his sanctimonious two-cents.

    October 8, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    ""How realistic is that," that such willing donors exist, "

    LOL. Alito exhibiting the ideologue conservatives' penchant for reality-denial. Classic.

    October 8, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. S. B. Stein

    We need a more level playing field when it comes to politics. It is getting such that if you aren't already rich or don't have some wealthy political paytron, you can't make a serious bid to win anything much more than school board. Money is a controlable form of power and is corrupting our form of government. Soon it could be a government for the wealthy, by the wealthy and screw the poor guy.

    October 8, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. TONE

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I agree with you 1000%.

    October 8, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "You mean people like George Soros, the tiral lawyers and the labor unions that funnel many, many millions to the Democrats? Seems like the liberals and leftists are only concerned with restricting contributions of their ploitical opponents and not their political supporters."

    OMG take your meds. The laws and donation limits that are being challenged apply TO EVERYONE. The laws that are being challenged are being challenged BY A REPUBLICAN with support from the RNC. This isn't about liberals trying to make it so donors can give millions to liberals and can't give millions to conservatives. It's about conservatives/republicans trying to open up the floodgates so that the extremely wealthy can buy our elections even more easily...so that the plutocracy they've worked so hard over the past 50+ years to create can become even stronger. The "liberal" position here is that reasonable, rational limits on donations prevent EVERYONE AND ANYONE from tossing that much money into our election processes and essentially buying elections and buying our representatives and their loyalty. reasonable, rational limits on free speech exist in all sorts of contexts, so don't go giving me absolutist nonsense about the 1st Amendment either.

    October 8, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. anonymous

    S. B. Stein
    We need a more level playing field when it comes to politics. It is getting such that if you aren't already rich or don't have some wealthy political paytron, you can't make a serious bid to win anything much more than school board. Money is a controlable form of power and is corrupting our form of government. Soon it could be a government for the wealthy, by the wealthy and screw the poor guy.
    --–

    Bloomberg just recently gave $1,000,000 to the Booker campaign. Did you call for Booker to return the money?? NO? I wonder why???

    October 8, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. TONE

    @Donna- IRS hamstringing the teabaggers
    As far as i am concern the IRS should have choked the living you no what out of them. Terrorist like them don't belong in this country, they should try afganistan.

    October 8, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Pam from Iowa

    To S.B. Stein:
    unfortunately it already is a government for the wealthy, by the wealthy, and screw the rest of us!
    Votes are bought – not cast!!!

    October 8, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Winston Smith

    Hard to believe anyone would be dumb enough to give money to any political party, but it happens.

    October 8, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Kennedy will yet again end up the swing vote, but here is how the conservatives will rule:

    "Unlimited donations is not a problem, does not create a problem and cannot be considered a problem" and then so on and so forth from there.

    In essence, that will be the conservatives yet again improperly replacing the factual findings of the legislative branch with their own factual findings (i.e., personal beliefs and opinions). Conservatives on the SCOTUS = activists.

    October 8, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Thomas

    @Donna
    Someone who gives that amount, said Justice Elena Kagan, would get "a very, very special place at the table," of grateful candidates and parties.
    -–

    You mean people like George Soros, the tiral lawyers and the labor unions that funnel many, many millions to the Democrats? Seems like the liberals and leftists are only concerned with restricting contributions of their ploitical opponents and not their political supporters. Just as they used the IRS to ham string the TEA party in the last two elections. Total government corruption perverting our federal government into a political attack machine for the Democrats.

    ========

    Tell the truth , you do work for CitizensUn United , say hi to Uncle Karl !

    Or is it the Heritage Foundation , in that case , give Mr. DeMint a hug for me .

    October 8, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Marcus (from...?)

    Donna – Do you believe, honestly, that the SCOTUS can make a ruling that can only be applied to one party when the law says clearly that the limits are for all parties?

    October 8, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |