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In a case some have called "Citizens United 2.0," the Supreme Court struck down caps on the total amount a donor can contribute to political candidates, parties and political action committees. The case, McCutcheon v FEC, involved a coal tycoon who argued that the laws limiting individual donations to political candidates and parties to $123,200 total over two years violated his first amendment rights. Now, wealthy donors can give more than $3.5 million over that same period. Citizens United allowed Big Business to spend literally as much as it wants. But Citizens United money can go only to outside groups. Now McCutcheon removes meaningful limits on the total amount an individual can directly contribute to candidates, political parties and political committees.
As The Nation's John Nichols points out, the ruling makes it crystal clear that rather than work to protect democracy, "the court has opted for full-on plutocracy."
The good news is that people across the nation are responding with protests to this outrageous decision building on the widespread outrage generated by Citizens United. States and cities across the country have called for a “Democracy Is For People” amendment to end unlimited and undisclosed corporate financing of American elections and to enable the government to regulate spending by individuals. The amendment would effectively reverse much of the damage of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and help to mitigate the worst excesses of the McCutcheon decision.
Sixteen states and hundreds of cities and towns across the country have already demanded that Congress act to end the ever-growing influx of big money into politics. Join the movement and ask your senators and representative to support the "Democracy Is For People" amendment.
The Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)