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Money and Influence in American Politics Take Center Stage at Supreme Court

Press Release / Last Updated:


“McCutcheon v. FEC Boils Down to More Money, More Influence,” says League 

Washington, DC – This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC). The case challenges aggregate contribution limits that are imposed on individual donors to candidates and political committees in order to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption. The League has joined an amicus brief in this case. 

“The importance of the result in this case cannot be overstated,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. “While McCutcheon deals with a technical and arcane matter of campaign finance law, it boils down to more money, more influence.” 

“Yes to corruption or no to corruption: that is the question the Supreme Court will decide,” said MacNamara. 

Chief Justice Roberts will likely be the key vote in McCutcheon. Previously he has allowed contribution limits both on gifts to candidates and to political parties. “Justice Roberts would likely have to reverse himself to block the aggregate limit and rule for McCutcheon. He would also likely have to reverse the long-standing precedent of Buckley v. Valeo that upheld contribution limits. The stakes are very high in this case,” said MacNamara. 

“Overturning the aggregate limit would ignore the real world effects that abolishing the limits would have. Absent an aggregate limit, individual donors would essentially be allowed to donate millions of dollars to candidates and political parties and corrupt our political system,” according to MacNamara. 

“Abolishing aggregate limits would also allow the party and PAC systems to become a funnel for candidates across the country and circumvent the other existing limits,” MacNamara said. “Given the state of our political system right now, there is no need to increase the corrupting role of big money in elections.”

Contact: Kelly Ceballos, [email protected], 202-263-1331


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