90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
High Court Rules Against Political Spending Limits

The Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on personal political campaign contributions. We’ll look at the court’s vision of wide-open, big-money politics.

Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover, Ala., right, leaves the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, after the court's hearing on campaign finance. The court ruled in his favor on April 2, 2014, greatly reducing U.S. restrictions on campaign finance. (AP)

Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover, Ala., right, leaves the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, after the court’s hearing on campaign finance. The court ruled in his favor on April 2, 2014, greatly reducing U.S. restrictions on campaign finance. (AP)

If Nazis can march in America and protestors can burn the American flag, said the chief justice of the US Supreme Court yesterday, then surely the First Amendment also protects big money contributions in American politics.  And with that, the Roberts court tore another huge cap off American campaign finance controls.  If you’re rich enough, you can now pour millions directly into whatever political party coffers you please.  Supporters call it freedom.  Critics call it the further hijacking of American democracy.  This hour On Point:  the high court’s move on big money politics.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Savage, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. (@davidgsavage)

Shaun McCutcheon, plaintiff in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission and CEO of Coalmont Electrical Development Company in McCalla, AL. (@GenConservative)

Bradley Smith, chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics and Visiting Copenhaver Chair of Law at West Virginia University.

Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21, a non-profit that advocates for transparency in government and campaign finance reform. (@FredWertheimer)

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court lifts overall limits on congressional campaign donations “In a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority struck down Watergate-era aggregate limits that barred political donors from giving more than $123,000 a year in total to candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives or Senate. The court said this limit violated the free-speech rights of the donors, and it was not needed to prevent ‘corruption’ of the political process.

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Strikes Down Aggregate Campaign Contribution Limits –“The court left intact the limits on the amount an individual can give to specific candidates and political committees, currently $5,200 to a candidate for the primary and general elections, with higher limits to political committees. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that Congress’s interest in fighting corruption doesn’t justify the burden on political speech posed by aggregate limits.”

POLITICO: Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign giving limits — “The sweeping ruling has the potential to once again reshape the campaign finance landscape — bringing more campaign money back under the control of political parties after four years of record spending by outside groups.”

Read The Supreme Court’s Decision In McCutcheon vs. F.E.C.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment