Author Topic: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations  (Read 790 times)

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Offline flowers

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Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« on: April 02, 2014, 10:47:32 AM »
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/02/supreme-court-campaign-finance/4481675/

Quote
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court took another step Wednesday toward giving wealthy donors more freedom to influence federal elections.

The justices ruled 5-4, in a decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, that limits on the total amount of money donors can give to all candidates, committees and political parties are unconstitutional. The decision frees the nation's wealthiest donors to have greater influence in federal elections.

"The government has a strong interest, no less critical to our democratic system, in combatting corruption and its appearance," Roberts wrote. "We have, however, held that this interest must be limited to a specific kind of corruption — quid pro quo corruption — in order to ensure that the government's efforts do not have the effect of restricting the First Amendment right of citizens to choose who shall govern them."

The decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission marks the latest round in the bitter national debate over the role of money in American politics. It's the most important campaign-finance ruling since the high court's 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts independently to influence elections.

The case pitted the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech – which the justices previously have equated with spending money in elections – against the government's interest in preventing political corruption.

STORY: Activist lawyer aims to drop campaign restrictions

MORE: Supreme Court weighs limits on campaign donations

"Today, the court made clear that restraints on the political speech of those whose views you don't like must fail," said Dan Backer, the lawyer who brought the case. "Free speech is the right of all Americans, and not a revocable grant from the government of the day."

The decision was a victory for the Republican National Committee and Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon, who challenged the $123,200 cap on contributions an individual can give to all federal candidates, parties and political action committees in a two-year election cycle.

McCutcheon's challenge did not extend to the $2,600 limit a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee, because of concerns about corruption that are at the root of the federal law.


Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 11:42:58 AM »
Quote
in a decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts
Of course it was. The most corrupt justice on the bench would be behind this ruling.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 11:47:53 AM »
Of course it was. The most corrupt justice on the bench would be behind this ruling.

You're full of it.

There should be NO LIMITS on funding from anybody to anybody or any entity.  If money is speech, then it can't be limited.
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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 11:56:03 AM »
You're full of it.

There should be NO LIMITS on funding from anybody to anybody or any entity.  If money is speech, then it can't be limited.

If money is speech - then I'M pretty damned limited!  This just assures that the rich and powerful will control our elections. 

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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 12:09:39 PM »
You're full of it.

There should be NO LIMITS on funding from anybody to anybody or any entity.  If money is speech, then it can't be limited.
Money is not speech. It never was, and it never will be.

Granted... this ruling is not a disaster as the Left is portraying it to be. It doesn't favor any particular individual party or candidate, as those restrictions are still in place. It will basically serve to allow donors to donate more to a variety of different candidates more easily.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

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Online Bigun

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 12:36:39 PM »
You're full of it.

There should be NO LIMITS on funding from anybody to anybody or any entity.  If money is speech, then it can't be limited.

So in your opinion we should allow any sheik, sultan, or mulah that want's to the ability to influence our elections with gobs of money?

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 12:47:35 PM »
Without bothering to read the court's decision in detail it seems to me that they got this right

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 01:54:41 PM »
Money is not speech. It never was, and it never will be.

Granted... this ruling is not a disaster as the Left is portraying it to be. It doesn't favor any particular individual party or candidate, as those restrictions are still in place. It will basically serve to allow donors to donate more to a variety of different candidates more easily.

Money IS speech, according the Supreme Court. 
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 01:55:36 PM »
So in your opinion we should allow any sheik, sultan, or mulah that want's to the ability to influence our elections with gobs of money?

If they're American citizens, yes.  No limit on money.  And so what if somebody is able to donate more than somebody else? 
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Offline LambChop

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 01:58:46 PM »
If money is speech - then I'M pretty damned limited!  This just assures that the rich and powerful will control our elections.

 :beer:


Bush III here we come.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 01:59:40 PM by LambChop »

Offline musiclady

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 02:00:22 PM »
Let's hear it for those nasty Koch brothers!   ^-^
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 02:16:35 PM »
Of course it was. The most corrupt justice on the bench would be behind this ruling.

that is an utterly unwarranted attack on J. Roberts

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 02:23:58 PM »
Money IS speech, according the Supreme Court.
Also according to the court:

Black people are property and ineligible to use the court system. (Scott v. Sanford)
Using the same model of government as the federal government at the state level (something that is mentioned explicitly in the constitution) is unconstitutional. (Reynolds v. Sims)
Contraception (Griswold v. CT), abortion (Roe v. Wade) and sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas) are constitutionally protected rights. (Note: none are mentioned or even alluded to in the constitution.)
Obamacare was wholly legal as a tax, even though everyone involved denied it was a tax. (NFIB v. Sibelius)

The Court, throughout its history, has had a serious problem with reality.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

"In the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them." —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

“No government program ever dies of its own accord.” ―unknown

Offline Oceander

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 02:24:47 PM »
If money is speech - then I'M pretty damned limited!  This just assures that the rich and powerful will control our elections. 



Really?  So the rich and powerful are going to blinker you so you cannot tell true from false?  So that you mindlessly accept whatever it is they say without applying any critical thinking to what they say?  I can hardly believe that; your postings here demonstrate that you're too intelligent for that.

Consider:  right now, the people who control the media - the democrats - have had their agit-prop mouthpieces going nonstop, 24/7/365 trying to convince all of us that, for example, Obamacare is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but so far everyone on this forum hasn't been fooled.  If they cannot fool you, even though they control the MSM, then why should anyone else fool you?

Consider also:  Scott Wagner, a conservative republican type, just won a special election in PA, despite having the money machine stacked against him, both republican and democrat.  If money alone is determinative of elections, then Mr. Wagner should not have won.  He did, ergo, money is not the sole determinant of elections.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 03:04:13 PM »
Also according to the court:

Black people are property and ineligible to use the court system. (Scott v. Sanford)
Using the same model of government as the federal government at the state level (something that is mentioned explicitly in the constitution) is unconstitutional. (Reynolds v. Sims)
Contraception (Griswold v. CT), abortion (Roe v. Wade) and sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas) are constitutionally protected rights. (Note: none are mentioned or even alluded to in the constitution.)
Obamacare was wholly legal as a tax, even though everyone involved denied it was a tax. (NFIB v. Sibelius)

The Court, throughout its history, has had a serious problem with reality.

The examples you cite do not stand for the proposition you claim they do.  Flat out.  The Supreme Court has decided tens of thousands of cases since it was created; 6 cherry-picked cases out of that long history is statistically irrelevant.  If anything, that you can find only 6 that are that objectionable merely proves that the Court is very in touch with reality because, statistically speaking, it's always been correct.

Further, your characterizations are incorrect.  Reynolds v. Sims had to do with the apportionment of a state into different voting districts, and held that those voting districts could not be so malapportioned as to call into question the premises underlying republican government.  The dissent in that case is where the real error lies for the simple reason that the Founders (a) did provide for a rough equality between states for representatives in the House, and specifically chose to have representation in the Senate without regard to population because of the different role the Senate was to play vis-a-vis the House.  Accordingly, since the Constitution was expressly drafted with that goal in mind, it flies in the face of basic rational thought to conclude that the Constitution itself was unconstitutional under the rationale of Reynolds v. Sims.  In short, the federal system of government was intended to be different from that of the states, and the equal protection clause applies to the states in ways that it does not apply to the federal government, if for no other reason than that the differences highlighted in Reynolds v. Sims were drafted at the same time.

Griswold, Roe, and Lawrence are arguable either way; the mere fact that certain folks don't like them does not, ipso facto, make them wrong.  Further, given the wailing and gnashing of teeth over things like striking down DOMA in certain quarters, it's rather hypocritical for those same quarters to object to similar cases holding that the government's reach into private affairs has limits.

The decision in NFIB v. Sibelius is wholly defensible - to say otherwise is to elevate rhetoric and labels over substance - and, something I think gets none of the appreciation it should, had the decision gone otherwise, the simple fix would have been to amend Obamacare to state that it was a tax.  At that point the game would have been over.  The argument that the individual mandate itself forces people to engage in commerce is specious for the simple reason that the individual mandate, by itself, was not sufficiently penal to constitute sufficient coercion.

In fact, similar examples abound in just the tax code alone.  How so?  Because there is a plethora of provisions in which taxpayers get a certain tax benefit for engaging in certain types of commercial transactions; those provisions effectively impose a "mandate" on taxpayers to engage in those transactions because if they don't they face a higher tax bill than they would otherwise face.  For example, if you don't buy a "green" car you don't get a whopping big tax credit for it - that's a mandate to buy "green" cars.  If you purchase tuition at a "qualified" educational institution you get a tax deduction that reduces your taxes; that's a mandate to pay tuition at those schools because if you don't, you pay higher taxes. 

In point of fact, there was always a "mandate" to purchase insurance in the tax code - through your employer - if the employer purchased a qualified group plan, and paid the premiums, the employer got a deduction for the premiums paid, but the employees had no offsetting income as a result of those premiums being paid on their behalf.  That is a huge mandate to get insurance through your employer and those who do not or cannot end up facing a higher tax bill because they didn't do so.

The list is simply endless and the bottom line is this:  if the Court had held that the individual mandate was not a tax, and therefore was an impermissible forcing of commercial transactions, then so, too, would half the tax code be unconstitutional.  There are certain people here who might like the idea, but fortunately they're out of luck.




Offline musiclady

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 03:14:42 PM »
that is an utterly unwarranted attack on J. Roberts

Completely agree.

Not only unwarranted, but untrue.
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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 03:18:35 PM »
Of course it was. The most corrupt justice on the bench would be behind this ruling.

??   Are you sure you don't want to consider editing that?
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Online Fishrrman

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2014, 09:08:31 PM »
Oceander wrote above:
[[ Really?  So the rich and powerful are going to blinker you so you cannot tell true from false?  So that you mindlessly accept whatever it is they say without applying any critical thinking to what they say?  I can hardly believe that; your postings here demonstrate that you're too intelligent for that. ]]

There are tens upon tens of millions who will make their "political decisions" based solely upon what they see on the mainstream network news, and from political ads.

If their electoral numbers don't already outweigh those of folks who try to make more "informed" decisions on elections, we're headed in that direction.

Can money "buy elections"?
I'd reckon so. Depends on the election...

Offline Oceander

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2014, 09:23:08 PM »
Oceander wrote above:
[[ Really?  So the rich and powerful are going to blinker you so you cannot tell true from false?  So that you mindlessly accept whatever it is they say without applying any critical thinking to what they say?  I can hardly believe that; your postings here demonstrate that you're too intelligent for that. ]]

There are tens upon tens of millions who will make their "political decisions" based solely upon what they see on the mainstream network news, and from political ads.

If their electoral numbers don't already outweigh those of folks who try to make more "informed" decisions on elections, we're headed in that direction.

Can money "buy elections"?
I'd reckon so. Depends on the election...

So what is the solution?  We all get $10 that we can spend on getting our political views out and that's it?  Once each of us uses up his or her $10 we have to shut the hell up about politics?

I really don't understand how people who constantly claim to be foursquare behind the Constitution, and only the Constitution, without the democrats' "living" BS, are so damned ready to shred the First Amendment when they don't like it.

There really are only two choices, people:

1) the First Amendment means what it says, and the government cannot limit anyone's speech, including by putting monetary limits on how a given person can have their say; or

2) the First Amendment is a crock of sh*t, doesn't mean a thing, and other than standing around the water-cooler and moaning about Obamacare and the democrats, you cannot spread your word any further, by any means other than orally, unless the government says you can.

The choices are really that stark folks.  Why do you think the printing press has always been the first thing would-be tyrants attack?  Because the printing press is the core, fundamental technology individuals can use to get their word out - printing posters and handbills by the thousands so they can be passed out.

But guess what, it costs money to run a printing press.  No, really, it does.  First you have to buy the damned thing, then you need the paper and the ink, and maintenance, and ....

So we either allow people to spend their money having their say, or we give in to tyranny and confine ourselves to being lonely voices in the darkness, each crying out but incapable of speaking with one voice.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 09:28:33 PM by Oceander »

Offline EC

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2014, 09:40:17 PM »
No lawyer, but I have a test for judgements of this nature.

Assume the arguments are apples. You get first pick. You can pick either set of apples. If you can't pick to your advantage - it's a fair judgement.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 09:41:19 PM by EC »
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 09:42:19 PM »
No lawyer, but I have a test for judgements of this nature.

Assume the arguments are apples. You get first pick. You can pick either set of apples. If you can't pick to your advantage - it's a fair judgement.

huh?  I'm not sure I get it (not a big surprise).

Offline EC

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 09:53:50 PM »
huh?  I'm not sure I get it (not a big surprise).

 :tongue2: Nice try - you get plenty, so stop teasing!  :laugh:

You gave an either/or selection.

The judgement is actually both as far as the left and right are concerned. Both sides benefit from relaxations on campaign contributions. The individual benefits because they can put their money where their mouth or heart is. Media benefits because "hey, more advertizing revenue." Lobbyists benefit because there is less examination of the quid pro quo. Constitutionalists benefit because it reinforces the first amendment.

If you put yourself in any of those positions at all, there is no down side.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2014, 10:25:22 PM »
I think the only imposition I could stomache that would be consistent with the First Amendment would be broad disclosure requirements.  If an individual is spending the money, then that fact should be known.  If an organization is spending the money, then that fact and the members of that organization should be known.  If a corporation is doing the spending, then that fact and the major shareholders should be known.  Further, if an organization receives its funding from elsewhere - as many supposedly independent nonprofits get funding from the likes of Soros - then that fact should be known.

In other words, if one is willing to stand up on the big boy stage to shout through one's paid megaphone, then one shouldn't be afraid of letting one's identity be known.

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2014, 11:01:39 PM »
Its a very good decision. Its free speech. Frankally, they should disband the FEC since most of its mission has been gutted by the Supreme Court. Its a paper tiger.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 11:10:06 PM by SPQR »

Offline EC

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Re: Supreme Court lifts ban on aggregate campaign donations
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2014, 11:21:38 PM »
I think the only imposition I could stomache that would be consistent with the First Amendment would be broad disclosure requirements.

 :beer:

I can live with that. If you are speaking make it public, not whispering behind a curtain.
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