04.02.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In McCutcheon v. FEC

[The Supreme Court Wednesday issued its ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.  In a 5-4 decision, the Court, once again, reversed long-standing precedent and declared aggregate limits on campaign contributions in elections to be unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment.]

“Four years after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial Citizens United decision, five justices once again have decided to rule on the side of moneyed interests and against the American people.

“As Justice Breyer warned in his dissent, ‘Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, today’s 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.’  I could not agree with him more.

“With this latest shock to our electoral system, the divided Roberts court again chose to dismantle campaign finance laws which had protected hardworking Americans for decades.  This ruling will empower billionaires to drown out the voices of everyday Americans in all future campaigns, threatening all states, and especially smaller states like Vermont.  It is yet another blow to a democracy for all Americans.  As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I intend to hold a hearing about the impact of these alarming Supreme Court decisions that have eviscerated our campaign finance laws.”

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