Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2022 Independence Day Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

April 4, 2014

A First Amendment Victory

The Supreme Court dispatches some campaign finance restrictions.

As is often the case, a 5-4 majority decided a key Supreme Court case. But that one vote restored a portion of the idea that political speech should be unfettered by government, in this case striking down arbitrary federal limits on overall individual campaign contributions. While the current federal maximum of $5,200 for specific candidates remains in place, the Court threw out the overall limit of $48,600.

Based on the caterwauling by the Left, though, you’d think McCutcheon v. FEC was the second coming of the Dred Scott decision. (In fact, one Senate candidate did liken the two.) Playing the class envy card was the Sunlight Foundation, which whined that the “Citizens United ruling four years ago opened up the floodgates for unlimited spending in our elections, and now it might as well have tied a big bow around Congress and deliver it to the one percent.”

As a pot decrying the kettle, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten cried, “We once had rules that allowed everyone a fair shot at the American dream and access to democracy, but now access to government is reserved for the most powerful and influential with millions and millions of dollars to buy elections.” Never mind that over the last quarter-century the AFT was one of the largest political donors, spending the vast majority of its $37 million on Democrats. Or that the National Education Association, its larger sibling, is the third largest political donor. Republicans aren’t exactly raking it in there, either.

With the McCutcheon ruling, the Supreme Court comes a step closer to undoing the damage done to free speech by onerous campaign finance laws. It’s obvious that the Left liked the system because the list of top donors revealed by the OpenSecrets website shows most donate primarily to Democrats. The right-wing donor most demonized by Democrats like Harry Reid, Koch Industries, comes in all the way down at number 59; meanwhile, 10 of the top 15 donors are heavily invested in Democrat candidates.

But even if the tables were turned, the idea of limiting speech is out of step with this court. As Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out, “If there is no corruption concern in giving nine candidates up to $5,200 each, it is difficult to understand how a tenth candidate can be regarded as corruptible if given $1,801, and all others corruptible if given a dime.” We don’t get the connection either. Roberts also wrote, “An aggregate limit on how many candidates and committees an individual may support through contributions is not a ‘modest restraint’ at all” on protected political speech. “The government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.” So how then is it constitutional for the government to dictate how much an individual can gift any one candidate?

The most important point is this: The First Amendment was designed primarily to protect political speech, of which campaign donations are a major part. Congress – and the Court – should remember that.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.