Supreme Court Voids Campaign Spending Limits
On April 2nd, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) blasted a Supreme Court ruling that voided legal limits on contributions by individual donors to political campaigns.
“Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government,” Sanders said.
The ruling gives wealthy donors like the billionaires Charles and David Koch more power to influence elections. An earlier ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC resulted in a record $7 billion being spent in the 2012 election cycle, including at least $400 million by the Koch brothers alone.
“What world are the five conservative Supreme Court justices living in?” Sanders asked. “To equate the ability of billionaires to buy elections with ‘freedom of speech’ is totally absurd. The Supreme Court is paving the way toward an oligarchic form of society in which a handful of billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson will control our political process.”
At issue in the latest case was a limit on how much donors may give to all candidates and political organizations during a two-year federal election cycle. The cap now is $123,200. That includes a separate $48,600 limit on contributions to individual candidates during 2013 and 2014. A separate $2,600 limit on how much one individual may give to any specific candidate for Congress in any election is not directly at stake in this case.