For Release: April 2, 2014 Contact: Joe Trotter Phone: 210-352-0055 (Cell)
Alexandria, Va. –– The Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech today in this year’s blockbuster campaign finance case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
Hailing the Court’s decision, Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) Chairman and former FEC Chairman Bradley A. Smith released a statement this morning:
“Today is a good day for democracy. The Court has put some teeth into the requirement that campaign contribution limits must have a legitimate anti-corruption purpose. This will make it easier for candidates and parties to raise funds and that is also a good thing.
Beyond that, the Court’s conclusion was common sense: the law limited an individual to contributing the legal maximum to just 18 candidates. If the first 18 aren’t “corrupted” by the contribution, why is candidate 19? What’s remarkable is that four justices of the Supreme Court continue to believe that such overt limitations on political speech are constitutional. Moreover, to reach that conclusion the dissenters relied on a series of preposterous hypotheticals bearing no resemblance to reality. Fortunately, five justices aren’t swayed by such nonsense. A good day for freedom, and for competitive campaigns.”
The case, which challenged the constitutionality of federal laws limiting the aggregate amount of money individuals may contribute to candidates, parties, and PACs, gave the Court an opportunity to clarify what standards legislators must meet before imposing contribution limits.
CCP submitted a friend of the court brief in May reminding the Court that legislators have a vested self-interest in these laws and have not demonstrated “particular expertise” in this area. The brief noted that “no record exists” justifying the law’s anticorruption effect, either in Congress or before the courts.
The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.