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Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Federal Aggregate Contribution Limits

February 20, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of long-standing limits on the total amount individuals may contribute to federal candidates, parties and political action committees per election cycle.  In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission , Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, both plaintiffs in the case, take issue with the biennial aggregate contribution limits that restricted individuals from contributing more than $117,000 to all federal candidates, parties and PACs during the 2011-12 election cycle. The case does not contest the limits on contributions to any single candidate or committee.

If the Justices side with McCutcheon and the RNC and strike the aggregate limits, it could restore the financial strength of party committees, which took a subordinate role to unrestricted Super PACs in the last election.  The case marks the first time the High Court has considered the constitutionality of direct contributions since its landmark Citizens United decision in 2010.  The case is slated to be heard in the Supreme Court's next term, which begins in October.

For further information regarding the topics discussed in this Political Law Update, please contact your Clark Hill political law attorney.

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