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U.S. Supreme Court Votes To Allow More Money In Election Campaigns

Reported: Apr. 2, 2014 4:28 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 2, 2014 4:43 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Heath Harrison, Associated Press) – The. U.S. Supreme Court voted Wednesday to strike down overall campaign contribution limits.

The court voted 5-4 to eliminate limits on how much a contributor can give in total to candidates, political parties and PACs.

The ruling in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case, made by the court’s conservative majority, consisting of Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, leaves in place the current $5,200 limit on contributions to an individual campaign in a two-year cycle.

The ruling means that single donor can give unlimited amounts to candidates nationwide, as long as no individual candidate receives more than the $5,200 limit. Prior to the ruling, individuals could not spend more than $123,000 per election cycle.
The limits struck down were passed by Congress in the wake of the Watergate scandal, and had previously been upheld by the court.

The White House says it was disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Obama administration is still reviewing the details of the ruling, but he's noting that the solicitor general, which argues the administration's positions before the court, had defended the constitutionality of the previous limits.

Earnest is pointing to a dissent from Justice Stephen Breyer, which argued that the decision eviscerates U.S. campaign finance laws.

Earnest spoke to reporters as Obama was flying to Michigan for an event about increasing the minimum wage.

The court had previously voted to strike down campaign finance regulation in 2010, when it voted to end restrictions from corporations and outside groups in the Citizens United ruling. The ruling opened the door for massive spending in elections and led to litigation to strike down other campaign contributor limits.

West Virginia Citizen Action Group, along with and labor and activist organizations have planned a rally at the West Virginia Capitol to protest the court’s ruling. The groups will rally at the Robert Byrd statue in the at 5 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: MGN Online



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