Citizens United Redux: Supreme Court Takes Up Political Gift Limits

The United States Supreme Court has decided to take up the argument covering campaign finance. This time the court is taking up a challenge led by Republicans over the limit that is in place regarding the amount that a person can donate to a candidate, a political party or a political action committee.

Taking up this case signals that a busy Supreme Court is going to get busier. Among the docket that court has heard or is slated to hear is a case that deals with a seed patent dispute.

The high court will also be hearing arguments on two separate gay marriage cases. While some might believe those two cases could overshadow this new campaign finance case, the New York Times believes this could be the most important campaign finance case since Citizen’s United.

Richard L. Hansen, an expert on election law who teaches at the University of California, Irvine explained to the Times why this case is so important saying:

“In Citizens United, the court resisted tinkering with the rules for contribution limits. This could be the start of chipping away at contribution limits.”

The Washington Post reports that the case came to the Supreme Court because Shaun McCutcheon, a political activist from Alabama believes the current levels are too low and restrictive.

McCutcheon has teamed up with the Republican National Committee in order to appeal a lower court ruling that said that “It is not the judicial role to parse legislative judgment about what limits to impose.”

The Post pointed out that people who pay attention to campaign finance reform have become “alarmed” that the Supreme Court has agreed to take up this case.

Tara Malloy, a senior counsel with the Campaign Legal Center explained why she has a real problem with the court’s decision to hear the case saying:

“It has become readily apparent that there are a number of justices who are willing to usurp Congress’s role as legislator when it comes to matter of campaign finance.”

The Supreme Court will hear this case during their October session.

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