Citizens United and McCutcheon Are Not Enough: Right Wants PAC Donation Limits Abolished

If you were wondering what limits on money in politics would be challenged in court next, here's one place to look. The lawyer who brought you the McCutcheon case is going after political action committee donation limits, because "These discriminatory restrictions impermissibly allow entrenched institutions and interests to engage in protected First Amendment activities to a greater extent than newly formed grassroots organizations that have spontaneously mobilized in response to emergent political issues and developments." His beef:


PACs that are less than 6 months old are permitted to give up to $5,200 to a candidate in an election cycle, while PACs more than 6 months old can give $10,000 per election cycle.

By contrast, new PACs can give $10,000 to a state political party committee and $32,400 to a national political party per year. Those limits actually decrease once a PAC reaches 6 months old to $5,000 each year to a state or local party and $15,000 annually to a national party.

“The right of groups and individuals to speak are being treated very differently,” Backer said in an interview.

Yes, he straight-up referred to financial contributions of thousands of dollars as speech. And yes, the limits on contributions by new PACs are meant to prevent people from saying "screw these individual contribution limits, I'll just set up a PAC to get around them."

Of course, Backer's real end game is unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and PACs at all times. An ever-flowing river of undifferentiated money. Because democracy!

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