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The Progressive

The Supreme Court’s Absurdist Push to Lift Campaign Limits

The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to do more damage to our electoral system by lifting the cumulative contributions that someone can make to individual candidates and committees.

An Alabama man, along with the RNC, naturally, filed a lawsuit saying that the total two-year limit on campaign contributions was too restrictive.

To give you an idea of just how tilted the electoral playing field is, that total two-year limit is $117,000. No one but the top 1 percent can toss money around like that.

But the RNC wants their big donors to be able to give even more.

And the logic of the Roberts Court’s decision in Citizens United is to toss out all limits on campaign contributions so I’m betting the RNC is going to prevail on this one.

And if it does, if the Supreme Court says anyone can give any amount they want, no matter how huge, to candidates or committees or independent groups, then we’re really going to have to press harder to amend the Constitution.

We’re going to have to establish, once and for all, that money is not speech, that corporations are not persons, and that the government has the right to limit campaign contributions to ensure that we have a functional democracy—and not a fictitious one.

If we can get that amendment passed, we’ll have Chief Justice Roberts to thank for it because he will have pushed things to the most absurd level.

(Go to to see how you can get involved.)

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Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild is senior editor of The Progressive magazine.

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