Prof Lousin: SCOTUS ruling shows ‘Campaign finance laws have had to change’

On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law limiting overall campaign contributions individual donors can make to political parties, candidates and political action committees.

The vote removes a previous cap of total individual contributions from a donor per election cycle of $123,200. But the limit to a single candidate running for Congress of $2,600 per election remains in place.

Constitutional law expert Professor Ann Lousin said:

“It was expected that the Supreme Court would strike down the broad ‘aggregate contributions’ limits in the federal campaign finance statute. The difference between the five in the majority and the four who wrote the dissenting opinion is whether the restrictions were ‘narrowly tailored’ to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. As the Court’s opinions since 1976 have shown, campaign practices have evolved over time, and campaign finance laws have also had to change. The majority’s opinion points out several ways that Congress can regulate contributions without running afoul of this case.”