NYT Room for Debate on McCutcheon


Updated October 6, 2013 6:19 PM

Why Limit Political Donations?


  • Ilya Shapiro

    Strike Down All Contribution Limits

    Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute

    In a free society, people should be able to give whatever they want to whomever they choose, including candidates for public office.

  • Elizabeth Wydra

    Senator McConnell v. the Founders

    Elizabeth Wydra, Constitutional Accountability Center

    Our system of campaign finance “distorts and destroys the intended dependence the framers gave us” by calling on a “tiny slice of America” to raise campaign funds.

  • Richard L. Hasen

    Limits to Candidates Deter Corruption

    Richard L. Hasen, Election Law Blog

    The closer the money comes to the hands of members of Congress, the greater the danger of corruption and undue influence of big donors.

  • Bradley A. Smith

    No Compelling Government Interest in Limits

    Bradley A. Smith, Capital University Law School

    While the argument that limits prevent corruption has some intuitive appeal, it is not borne out by the facts.

  • Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

    Interest Groups Will Spend to Influence Politicians

    Ciara Torres-Spelliscy,Assistant Professor at Stetson University College of Law and a Brennan Center Fellow

    History shows that doing away with aggregate and individual contribution limits to candidates opens the door to embarrassing quid pro quo corruption.


Win McNamee/Getty Images Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to argue before the Supreme Court in favor of eliminating campaign contribution limits.

This week, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in McCutcheon v. the Federal Election Commission, a case that challenges limits on individual contributions made directly to political candidates. It would expand on the 2010 Citizens United ruling that allows unlimited spending by corporations.

Instead of this piecemeal approach, would it make more sense to just get rid of all limits on political spending, as Senator Mitch McConnell has suggested?

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