FEC in the News: McCutcheon v. FEC
The Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments today on a definitive campaign finance case: McCutcheon v. FEC. The lead plaintiff in the case, Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon argues that the aggregate cap on donations from a single donor is a violation of his First Amendment rights. Currently, an individual can donate up to $123,200 to political candidates, political parties, and political action committees in a federal two-year election cycle. The limit on individual donations to candidates for federal office is currently $48,600.
The precedent in this case is the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo Supreme Court decision where the court upheld limits on contributions to candidates running for federal office because they serve as “primary weapons against the reality or appearance of improper influence stemming from the dependence of candidates on large campaign contributions.”
McCutcheon v. FEC will serve to clarify what contribution limits are permissible without violating an individual's First Amendment right.
The National Constitution Center blog has a good overview of the case. Read more here.