Latest Supreme Court Decision on Campaign Finance Part of a Trend

Latest Supreme Court Decision on Campaign Finance Part of a Trend

2:00pm May 04, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court made its latest decision on the increasingly important role of money in politics.

In McCutcheon vs. FEC, the court kept limits on donations to individual campaigns, but scrapped the total aggregate amount that individuals can donate to multiple candidates and political parties.

WFDD’s Paul Garber talked with John Dinan, a Wake Forest University professor of political science and an expert on state politics, about how the latest round of court decisions will impact North Carolina races. 

Dinan says it's too early to tell how much of an effect the McCutcheon decision will have, but it's likely to be less far-reaching than the well-known Citizens United case, which was released in 2010.

The Citizens United case allowed the development of so-called Super-PACs, which can spend unlimited amount of money on campaigns but are outside groups prohibited from coordinating with the candidates. Dinan says that can lead to confusion for voters and a mixed message about the candidates.

Dinan says the McCutcheon decision further establishes the court's trend of limiting campaign finance only where there is the appearance of corruption or quid pro quo donations. Other reasons for limiting the amount of cash in campaigns, - such as creating a level playing field financially for candidates - hasn't been a valid under the current court, he says.

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