Stay current on changes and developments in corporate law with a wide variety of resources and tools.
April 4 -- The deep-seated divide between the U.S. Supreme Court's liberal and conservative wings on campaign finance played out once again in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission,2014 BL 89958, U.S., No. 12-536, 4/2/14.
In its fourth 5-4 decision on campaign finance, the Roberts Court invalidated yet another part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, this time taking down aggregate contribution limits that cap the total amount that an individual may donate during an election cycle (see related story, page 115).
But the sweep of the high court's decision is hotly debated--both by court watchers and the justices themselves.
In his dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said that taken with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), the “decision eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”
Dismissing Breyer's criticism as mere “rhetoric,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s plurality opinion insisted that the decision was quite limited.
In particular, Roberts said that it “clearly does not overrule” the court's determination in McConnell v. Federal Election Comm'n, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), that the BCRA's restrictions on “soft money” are constitutional.
James Bopp Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm, Terre Haute, Ind., who represented the Republican National Committee in the case, agreed, telling Bloomberg BNA April 4 that Roberts's opinion was “narrow and careful.”
Although the Court certainly expressed important doctrinal positions that will impact future cases, it is an overstatement to say that all but undoes soft money restrictions, Bopp said.
However, Daniel Tokaji, a professor at Ohio State University law school and senior fellow at Election Law @ Moritz, said that although it is “technically true” that McCutcheon didn't invalidate restrictions on soft money, the decision “makes it more likely that the soft money ban will be struck down in a future case.”
The “handwriting is on the wall,” he told Bloomberg BNA April 3.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Robinson in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pamela Atkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)