Obama misleads on Supreme Court campaign finance case

Posted by Michael Doyle on October 8, 2013 

President Barack Obama may be a former adjunct teacher of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, but he is still capable of getting the law wrong.

On Tuesday, at a news conference held several hours after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the campaign finance case called McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the president was asked about the case. He said:

"Well, the latest case would go even further than Citizens United and essentially would say, anything goes. There are no rules in terms of how to finance campaigns."

Not to get all legalistic here, but the president is wrong.

McCutcheon v. FEC is, in fact, about one kind of limits only: the aggregate limits that cap the total amount an individual can give federal candidates and committees. That is the question presented. If McCutcheon, the Alabama donor challenging the limits, wins the argument he is making, there would still be in place limits on the amount of an individual donation. 'Anything' would not go; there would still be some rules in place.

Now, it's possible the court could take this case and expansively rule so as to lift all limits, but that is not what the case is about. It's not about all campaign finance limits,but only one type.

Here, in McCutcheon's own words, is the limited case presented.



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