Campaign Finance Trajectory Clear

When I first heard about today’s McCutcheon v. FEC decision by the Supreme Court (or at least five Justices of the Supreme Court), I thought of the same metaphor that Kevin Drum immediately deployed: a falling domino:

Four years ago, in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court struck down limits on independent campaign contributions from corporations and unions. Since then, spending by super PACs and shadowy 501c(4) groups has exploded. Today, the Supreme Court continued toward its goal of gutting virtually every existing limit on campaign spending.

Aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates and political parties were struck down in this decision. But nobody seems to know where the trend will end, other than perhaps Justice Thomas, who called in a concurring opinion for the over-ruling of Buckley v. Valeo, the 1976 decision that validated some federal regulation of campaign contributions.

It’s another fine day to be rich and in love with politics.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.