Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Ramifications of the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon campaign finance ruling

By Frederick K Lowell, Emily B Erlingsson, Kathryn E Donovan and Anita D Stearns Mayo

The US Supreme Court’s decision in an important campaign finance case frees individual political donors to contribute to an unlimited number of federal campaigns and committees, as long as each contribution is within statutory base limits.

In McCutcheon v FEC, the Supreme Court ruled that the overall aggregate biennial limits are invalid under the First Amendment. The court opined that the aggregate limits do not address the concern of preventing corruption, but instead seriously restrict participation in the democratic process.

The overall aggregate biennial limits are no longer valid ($48,600 [£29,300] and $74,600). Therefore, individuals may contribute to as many different candidates or committees as they would like, subject to the base limits, without violating any restrictions…

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