Shaun McCutcheon, wealthy businessman from Alabama has brought a case to the Supreme Court, after the majority of the justices support lifting the corporate campaign contribution limit. McCutcheon feels that limiting the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate's campaign is a violation of his first amendment rights to free speech.
The majority of the justices seem to be sympathetic to the plaintiff's position. Brad Bannon, democratic political consultant in Washington, D.C., with Bannon Communications Research, says that if the justices rule in favor of McCutcheon, individuals will be able to spend as much money as they want.
The government attorneys representing the federal elections commission said essentially that if you blow away the limits entirely, that will magnify the voice of certain people but will mute the voice and first amendment rights of ordinary Americans who can't afford to donate, Bannon says. They asked the court to balance the first amendment rights of the plaintiff, who is a rich Republican donor, against the first amendment rights of most Americans, who can't afford to donate. "There's a balancing act there," says Bannon.
Obama said if the Supreme Court does remove individual contribution limits, anything will go in campaign financing, which will flood it with millions of dollars.
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.