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
May 31, 2016
This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria. On Wednesday, May 26, 2016, U.S. military officials reported the first U.S. human case of bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort drug. The 49-year-old woman has recovered from an infection of E. coli resistant to colistin. But officials fear that if the resistance spreads to other bacteria, the country may soon see germs impervious to all antibiotics. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

A new superbug resistant to our antibiotic of last resort has shown up in the U.S. We look at the threat, and our dwindling antibiotic options.

May 31, 2016
In this July 31, 2015, file photo, an orca or killer whale breaches in view of Mount Baker, some 60 miles distant, in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. ( (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The end of orcas at SeaWorld, McDonald’s using cage-free eggs — should animal lovers be optimistic about a new “humane economy”?

RECENT
SHOWS
May 30, 2016
Rock icon Donald Fagen looks back on a lengthy and ongoing career in his new memoir 'Eminent Hipsters.' He co-founded the classic rock group Steely Dan with Walter Becker in 1972. (Penguin Books USA)

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen talks “eminent hipsters” and the cultural outliers that shaped his sound. He joins us.

 
May 30, 2016
Author and Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy. (Photo by Bob O'Connor / Courtesy The Author)

Strike a power pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy on the power of presence when you’re ready to act and win.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment
 
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment