In a USA Today article, Professor Joel Gora offered context in advance of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court’s first major case of the fall 2013 term. The case concerns whether individual limits on federal election campaign contributions that have stood for nearly 40 years should be eliminated – a decision that will ultimately fall to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. While he has ruled five times in a row against restrictions on political speech, Chief Justice Roberts has approved of limits on federal contributions, unlike several of his conservative colleagues.
Professor Gora – who represented the American Civil Liberties Union in Buckley v. Valeo, a landmark case that upheld contribution limits 37 years ago – commented on Chief Justice Roberts’ “very muscular decision” in a similar case, Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett, in 2011. “It really insisted that the government justify the kinds of restrictions or burdens on campaign speech that the public funding laws would claim to impose,” Gora says.
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