Supreme Court appears poised to allow more of the wealthy few to buy elections


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The conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court may very well allow the wealthy few to have even more opportunities to drown out the rest of us.

Yes, again.

More big donors with more money than most of us will see in our lifetimes may get legal permission to pour more of their more money into more political fights and more candidates.

Most of us can't afford to donate huge sums of cash to buy elections, which means the very rich will have even more influence and control over financing campaigns and corporate causes, and therefore, have more say than we do about our lives.

This anti-democratic practice changed our election system for the worse and is destroying what's left of democracy and equal rights. The Supremes' 2010 Citizens United ruling got the ball rolling, and now there's this little bombshell via the Los Angeles Times:

In what may be Act 2 in the decline and fall of campaign funding laws, the Supreme Court appears poised to lift the lid on the total amount the wealthy can give directly to all candidates and political parties.

Increasingly, the money that funds election races for Congress and the presidency comes from a small sliver of the very rich, what the Sunlight Foundation called the "elite class that serves as gatekeepers of public office in the United States." The nonpartisan group has tracked how a growing share of election money comes from the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans.

In the first major case of its new term, the court could give those donors even more clout with lawmakers and their parties. The issue is whether federal limits, not on contributions to individual races but on how much a donor can give to all candidates for Congress or party committees in a particular election cycle, violate the right of free speech.

The current law allows the rich to give millions to super PACs and other groups that pay for "independent" election ads. What they cannot do is give more than $48,600 total to all members of Congress or more than $74,600 to various party committees.

Those restrictions may end.

Guess who's behind the challenge. Just. Guess.

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court will take up an appeal from the Republican National Committee, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon, who say contributions should be treated as "core political speech."

tadaa3McConnell is facing a primary challenge from a conservative tea partier and is also up against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has been leading him in the polls. So of course he's desperate to do something, anything, to change that.

If SCOTUS decides in his favor, then both political parties could each donate up to $3.6 million which "could be funneled by party leaders into a close race or races, tipping the balance of power in Congress."

Lee Drutman, a researcher at the Sunlight Foundation, said, "The data shows there are more big donors on the right than on the left."

No matter who has the most money to donate, this much is true: Money should be kept out of politics. We need a level playing field so we can have fair elections. All this monetary power and influence by a very few ends up corrupting our candidates and ultimately, the lawmakers and laws that affect every single American.

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  • MOPstr

    I would like more information about how the original ruling (Buckley?) was incompetently litigated. But if you are talking about McCutcheon, then this article goes into detail on how McCutcheon was set up from the beginning.

  • Anthony_McCarthy

    The Roberts court is the most baldly political court in my life time, probably since the early 1930s if not before then.

    The divide between between free speech absolutism and the right of a people to accurate information that they absolutely need to govern themselves is the test of real as opposed to pseudo-liberalism, between real leftism and liberalish libertarianism. I can't wait to see how the ACLU and other organs of the free speech industry come down on this one. They loved others in the line of decisions to hand our elections over to the most well financed liars in the history of politics. I'm not optimistic. This is going to be the thing that really kills democracy, not the distractions that get more attention.

  • JackDanielDavis

    This can be reversed by the citizens of America legally. Article V of the constitution allows a minimum of 34 (OF 50)

  • Tothiwim

    The point is that even if money is "speech", not all speech is protected speech. Shouting "fire!" in a theater is not protected speech. One person drowning out all opponents with "money speech" is not protected speech. The original SCOTUS ruling on this was dead wrong, let alone taking it any further. The original ruling was incompetently litigated.