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Books by Rick
The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown (Yale University Press, 2012)
The Voting Wars Website
NOW AVAILABLE from
Barnes and Noble
Election Law--Cases and Materials (5th edition 2012) (with Daniel Hays Lowenstein and Daniel P. Tokaji)
The Supreme Court and Election Law: Judging Equality from Baker v. Carr to Bush v. Gore (NYU Press 2003) NOW IN PAPER
Table of Contents
Order from Amazon.com
Order from BarnesandNoble.com
Journal of Legislation Symposium on book
The Glannon Guide to Torts: Learning Torts Through Multiple-Choice Questions and Analysis (Aspen Publishers 2d ed. 2011)
Remedies: Examples & Explanations (Aspen Publishers, 2d ed. 2010)
Election Law Resources
Blogroll/Political News Sites
All About Redistricting (Justin Levitt)
American Constitution Society
Ballot Access News
Brennan Center for Justice
The Brookings Institution's Campaign Finance Page
California Election Law (Randy Riddle)
Caltech-MIT/Voting Technology Project (and link to voting technology listserv)
The Caucus (NY Times)
Campaign Legal Center (Blog)
Campaign Finance Institute
Center for Competitive Politics (Blog)
Center for Governmental Studies
Doug Chapin (HHH program)
Equal Vote (Dan Tokaji)
Federal Election Commission
The Fix (WaPo)
Initiative and Referendum Institute
Legal Theory (Larry Solum)
Political Activity Law
Summary Judgments (Loyola Law faculty blog)
Talking Points Memo
UC Irvine Center for the Study of Democracy
UC Irvine School of Law
USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics
The Volokh Conspiracy
Votelaw blog (Ed Still)
Washington Post Politics
Recent Newspapers and Magazine Commentaries
Big Money Lost, But Don't Be Relieved, CNN Opinion, Nov. 9, 2012
A Better Way to Vote: Nationalize Oversight and Control, NY Times, "Room for Debate" blog, Nov. 9, 2012
Election Day Dispatches Entry 5: Black Panthers, Navy Seals, and Mysterious Voting Machines, Slate, Nov. 6, 2012
Behind the Voting Wars, A Clash of Philosophies, Sacramento Bee, Nov. 4, 2012
How Many More Near-Election Disasters Before Congress Wakes Up?, The Daily Beast, Oct. 30, 2012
Will Bush v. Gore Save Barack Obama? If Obama Narrowly Wins Ohio, He Can Thank Scalia and the Court's Conservatives, Slate, Oct. 26, 2012
Will Voter Suppression and Dirty Tricks Swing the Election?, Salon, Oct. 22, 2012
Is the Supreme Court About to Swing Another Presidential Election? If the Court Cuts Early Voting in Ohio, It Could Be a Difference Maker in the Buckeye State, Slate, Oct. 15, 2012
Election Truthers: Will Republicans Accept an Obama Election Victory?, Slate, Oct. 9, 2012
Wrong Number: The Crucial Ohio Voting Battle You Haven't Heard About, Slate, Oct. 1, 2012
Litigating the Vote, National Law Journal, Aug. 27, 2012
Military Voters as Political Pawns, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 19, 2012
Tweeting the Next Election Meltdown: If the Next Presidential Election Goes into Overtime, Heaven Help Us. It’s Gonna Get Ugly, Slate, Aug. 14, 2012
A Detente Before the Election, New York Times, August 5, 2012
Worse Than Watergate: The New Campaign Finance Order Puts the Corruption of the 1970s to Shame, Slate, July 19, 2012
Has SCOTUS OK'd Campaign Dirty Tricks?, Politico, July 10, 2012
End the Voting Wars: Take our elections out of the hands of the partisan and the incompetent, Slate, June 13, 2012
Citizens: Speech, No Consequences, Politico, May 31, 2012
Is Campaign Disclosure Heading Back to the Supreme Court? Don’t expect to see Karl Rove’s Rolodex just yet, Slate, May 16, 2012
Unleash the Hounds Why Justice Souter should publish his secret dissent in Citizens United, Slate, May 16, 2012
Why Washington Can’t Be Fixed; And is about to get a lot worse, Slate, May 9, 2012
Let John Edwards Go! Edwards may be a liar and a philanderer, but his conviction will do more harm than good, Slate, April 23, 2012
The Real Loser of the Scott Walker Recall? The State of Wisconsin, The New Republic, April 13, 2012
A Court of Radicals: If the justices strike down Obamacare, it may have grave political implications for the court itself, Slate, March 30, 2012
Of Super PACs and Corruption, Politico, March 22, 2012
Texas Voter ID Law May Be Headed to the Supreme Court, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mar. 13, 2012
“The Numbers Don’t Lie: If you aren’t sure Citizens United gave rise to the Super PACs, just follow the money, Slate, Mar. 9, 2012
Stephen Colbert: Presidential Kingmaker?, Politico, Mar. 5 2012
Occupy the Super PACs; Justice Ginsburg knows the Citizens United decision was a mistake. Now she appears to be ready to speak truth to power, Slate, Feb. 20, 2012
Kill the Caucuses! Maine, Nevada, and Iowa were embarrassing. It’s time to make primaries the rule, Slate, Feb. 15, 2012
The Biggest Danger of Super PACs, CNN Politics, Jan. 9, 2012
This Case is a Trojan Horse, New York Times "Room for Debate" blog, Jan. 6, 2012 (forum on Bluman v. FEC)
Holder's Voting Rights Gamble: The Supreme Court's Voter ID Showdown, Slate, Dec. 30, 2011
Will Foreigners Decide the 2012 Election? The Extreme Unintended Consequences of Citizens United, The New Republic (online), Dec. 6, 2011
Disenfranchise No More, New York Times, Nov. 17, 2011
A Democracy Deficit at Americans Elect?, Politico, Nov. 9, 2011
Super-Soft Money: How Justice Kennedy paved the way for ‘SuperPACS’ and the return of soft money, Slate, Oct. 25, 2012
The Arizona Campaign Finance Law: The Surprisingly Good News in the Supreme Court’s New Decision, The New Republic (online), June 27, 2011
New York City as a Model?, New York Times Room for Debate, June 27, 2011
A Cover-Up, Not a Crime. Why the Case Against John Edwards May Be Hard to Prove, Slate, Jun. 3, 2011
Wisconsin Court Election Courts Disaster, Politico, Apr. 11, 2011
Rich Candidate Expected to Win Again, Slate, Mar. 25, 2011
Health Care and the Voting Rights Act, Politico, Feb. 4, 2011
The FEC is as Good as Dead, Slate, Jan. 25, 2011
Let Rahm Run!, Slate, Jan. 24, 2011
Lobbypalooza,The American Interest, Jan-Feb. 2011(with Ellen P. Aprill)
Election Hangover: The Real Legacy of Bush v. Gore, Slate, Dec. 3, 2010
Alaska's Big Spelling Test: How strong is Joe Miller's argument against the Leeza Markovsky vote?, Slate, Nov. 11, 2010
Kirk Offers Hope vs. Secret Donors, Politico, November 5, 2010
Evil Men in Black Robes: Slate's Judicial Election Campaign Ad Spooktackular!, Slate, October 26, 2010 (with Dahlia Lithwick)
Show Me the Donors: What's the point of disclosing campaign donations? Let's review, Slate, October 14, 2010
Un-American Influence: Could Foreign Spending on Elections Really Be Legal?, Slate, October 11, 2010
Toppled Castle: The real loser in the Tea Party wins is election reform, Slate, Sept. 16, 2010
Citizens United: What the Court Did--and Why, American Interest, July/August 2010
The Big Ban Theory: Does Elena Kagan Want to Ban Books? No, and She Might Even Be a Free Speech Zealot", Slate, May 24, 2010
Crush Democracy But Save the Kittens: Justice Alito's Double Standard for the First Amendment, Slate, Apr. 30, 2010
Some Skepticism About the "Separable Preferences" Approach to the Single Subject Rule: A Comment on Cooter & Gilbert, Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Apr. 19, 2010
Scalia's Retirement Party: Looking ahead to a conservative vacancy can help the Democrats at the polls, Slate, Apr. 12, 2010
Hushed Money: Could Karl Rove's New 527 Avoid Campaign-Finance Disclosure Requirements?, Slate, Apr. 6, 2010
Money Grubbers: The Supreme Court Kills Campaign Finance Reform, Slate, Jan. 21, 2010
Bad News for Judicial Elections, N.Y. Times "Room for Debate" Blog, Jan., 21, 2010
Read more opeds from 2006-2009
Forthcoming Publications, Recent Articles, and Working Papers
The 2012 Voting Wars, Judicial Backstops, and the Resurrection of Bush v. Gore, George Washington Law Review (forthcoming 2013) (draft available)
A Constitutional Right to Lie in Campaigns and Elections?, Montana Law Review (forthcoming 2013) (draft available)
End of the Dialogue? Political Polarization, the Supreme Court, and Congress, 86 Southern California Law Review (forthcoming 2013) (draft available)
Fixing Washington, 126 Harvard Law Review (forthcoming 2012) (draf available)
What to Expect When You’re Electing: Federal Courts and the Political Thicket in 2012, Federal Lawyer, (forthcoming 2012)( draft available)
Chill Out: A Qualified Defense of Campaign Finance Disclosure Laws in the Internet Age, Journal of Law and Politics (forthcoming 2012) (draft available)
Lobbying, Rent Seeking, and the Constitution, 64 Stanford Law Review (forthcoming 2012) (draft available)
Anticipatory Overrulings, Invitations, Time Bombs, and Inadvertence: How Supreme Court Justices Move the Law, Emory Law Journal (forthcoming 2012) (draft available)
Teaching Bush v. Gore as History, St. Louis University Law Review (forthcoming 2012) (symposium on teaching election law) (draft available)
The Supreme Court’s Shrinking Election Law Docket: A Legacy of Bush v. Gore or Fear of the Roberts Court?, Election Law Journal (forthcoming 2011) (draft available)
Citizens United and the Orphaned Antidistortion Rationale, 27 Georgia State Law Review 989 (2011) (symposium on Citizens United)
The Nine Lives of Buckley v. Valeo, in First Amendment Stories, Richard Garnett and Andrew Koppelman, eds., Foundation 2011)
The Transformation of the Campaign Financing Regime for U.S. Presidential Elections, in The Funding of Political Parties (Keith Ewing, Jacob Rowbottom, and Joo-Cheong Tham, eds., Routledge 2011)
Judges as Political Regulators: Evidence and Options for Institutional Change, in Race, Reform and Regulation of the Electoral Process, (Gerken, Charles, and Kang eds., Cambridge 2011)
Citizens United and the Illusion of Coherence, 109 Michigan Law Review 581 (2011)
Aggressive Enforcement of the Single Subject Rule, 9 Election Law Journal 399 (2010) (co-authored with John G. Matsusaka)
The Benefits of the Democracy Canon and the Virtues of Simplicity: A Reply to Professor Elmendorf, 95 Cornell Law Review 1173 (2010)
Constitutional Avoidance and Anti-Avoidance on the Roberts Court, 2009 Supreme Court Review 181 (2010)
Election Administration Reform and the New Institutionalism, California Law Review 1075 (2010) (reviewing Gerken, The Democracy Index)
You Don't Have to Be a Structuralist to Hate the Supreme Court's Dignitary Harm Election Law Cases, 64 University of Miami Law Review 465 (2010)
The Democracy Canon, 62 Stanford Law Review 69 (2009)
Review Essay: Assessing California's Hybrid Democracy, 97 California Law Review 1501 (2009)
Bush v. Gore and the Lawlessness Principle: A Comment on Professor Amar, 61 Florida Law Review 979 (2009)
Introduction: Developments in Election Law, 42 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 565 (2009)
Book Review (reviewing Christopher P. Manfredi and Mark Rush, Judging Democracy (2008)), 124 Political Science Quarterly 213 (2009).
"Regulation of Campaign Finance," in Vikram Amar and Mark Tushnet, Global Perspectives on Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press (2009)
More Supply, More Demand: The Changing Nature of Campaign Financing for Presidential Primary Candidates (working paper, Sept. 2008)
When 'Legislature' May Mean More than''Legislature': Initiated Electoral College Reform and the Ghost of Bush v. Gore, 35 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 599 (2008) (draft available)
"Too Plain for Argument?" The Uncertain Congressional Power to Require Parties to Choose Presidential Nominees Through Direct and Equal Primaries, 102 Northwestern University Law Review 2009 (2008)
Political Equality, the Internet, and Campaign Finance Regulation, The Forum, Vol. 6, Issue 1, Art. 7 (2008)
Justice Souter: Campaign Finance Law's Emerging Egalitarian, 1 Albany Government Law Review 169 (2008)
Beyond Incoherence: The Roberts Court's Deregulatory Turn in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 92 Minnesota Law Review 1064 (2008) (draft available)
The Untimely Death of Bush v. Gore, 60 Stanford Law Review 1 (2007)
Search Results for: mccutcheon
“Center for Competitive Politics urges the Supreme Court not to defer to Congress when reviewing contribution limits”
The Republican National Committee urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to strike down certain limits on campaign contributions, saying they’re a violation of the First Amendment.
The RNC filed its opening brief in a case challenging limits on the total amount one person can donate in a single election cycle. The RNC says the limits are unconstitutional.
Interestingly at pages 10-11 the brief quotes Bob Bauer’s post on McCutcheon from his resurrected blog.
Some great report by Paul Blumenthal for HuffPo who finds lots of people potentially breaking the federal aggregate contribution limits (some of which are up for challenge at the Supreme Court next term in the McCutcheon case).
Bob Bauer, who for a number of years posted at his blog, but then stopped after becoming White House Counsel, has revived the blog—and all in the campaign finance/election law world are all the better for it. Here are three initial posts:
This is a post for instructors who will be teaching a course on Election Law in the fall. Dan Tokaji and I will soon begin work on the 2013 supplement to Lowenstein, Hasen, and Tokaji, Election Law–Cases and Materials (5th ed. 2012). The edition will be posted free online for use by instructors (and their students) who assign the casebook.
The Supreme Court’s expected decisions in the Shelby County case involving the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the argument coming next term in the campaign finance case of McCutcheon v. FEC are among the developments we expect to cover in the 2013 supplement.
If you are an instructor, use the link above to request a free review copy of the casebook.
RNC Names James Bopp, Jr. Special Counsel
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today announced that James Bopp, Jr. will serve as special counsel to the Republican National Committee. In this volunteer role, Mr. Bopp will provide assistance to RNC general counsel John Ryder with respect to the Rules of the Republican Party.
“I am very pleased that Jim has agreed to continue his service to the RNC by agreeing to assist our General Counsel, John Ryder, on important issues related to the Rules of the Republican Party. Jim was a conservative leader during his time on the national committee and I appreciate his interest in staying involved going forward.”
RNC General Counsel John Ryder commented, “Jim’s knowledge of the party rules and his conservative principles will be valuable assets as we work to strengthen the grassroots of our party and work toward electoral success in 2016.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to assist Chairman Priebus and John Ryder over the next couple years on the important matter of party rules. I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this role and share their commitment to restoring the party’s strength and staying committed to our conservative principles.”
Bopp is an attorney in Terre Haute, Indiana who served on the Republican National Committee from 2008 – 2012. He was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States by The National Law Journal was named the 2009 Republican Lawyer of the Year by the Republican National Lawyers Association. He has been on the forefront of litigating challenges to campaign finance laws, including McCutcheon v. FEC, which is currently before the United States Supreme Court.
James Bopp, Jr. Has a national federal and state election law practice. He is General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech and former co-Chairman of the election Law subcommittee for the Federalist Society.
“U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case on Whether Jurisdictions Must Count Write-in Votes for Declared Write-in Presidential Candidates”
Ballot Access News reports. It also reports that the Court took no action in an aggregate campaign contributions case, James v. FEC. The Court could hold that case for argument in McCutcheon or agree to hear the case potentially consolidating it with McCutcheon. (With McCutcheon pending, a summary affirmance seems unlikely.)
Justin Levitt on McCutcheon, aggregate contribution limits, and what’s to come at SCOTUS.
In Significant Action, Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case to Allow Corporate Contributions Directly to Candidates
Via SCOTUSBlog comes the news that the Supreme Court, without comment, has denied cert. in Danielczyk v. U.S.,The decision not to hear the case is significant, because it means the Supreme Court majority, which has shown hostility to campaign finance limits, has decided not to move as aggressively as it could in further deregulating the campaign finance system.
The case raised the question (in the context of a criminal prosecution) whether corporations have a constitutional right to contribute money directly to candidates. The 2010 Citizens United case held that corporations have a constitutional right to spend money independent of candidates, but the opinion did not address corporate contributions to candidates (or contribution limits more generally). A number of campaign finance opponents argued that the logic of Citizens United compelled the conclusion that the corporate contribution limit should fall also. One problem with this argument in the lower courts is that the Supreme Court had held, in a case predating the Roberts Court’s skeptical approach to regulation, that the corporate contribution ban was valid [typo corrected]. Among other things the Court said that a corporate contribution ban prevented circumvention of individual contribution limits (after all, an individual could set up a large number of corporations to make contributions directly to candidates).
I successfully defended San Diego’s corporate contribution ban in the Thalheimer case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. All of the other circuit courts reached the same conclusion: that the corporate contribution limit stands under earlier Supreme Court authority. Danielczyk case the only case to reach a contrary conclusion in the district court, but was reversed by the 4th Circuit to bring it in line with the other circuits.
Although there was no circuit split on this question (a common reason for the Supreme Court to agree to hear the case), the lower courts clearly expressed the opinion that the issue was foreclosed by earlier Supreme Court authority, and it would be up to the Supreme Court if it wanted to change the existing standard.
By not agreeing to hear Danielczyk, the Court leaves corporate contribution bans in place not only on the federal level, but under state and local law. It may be that after the Supreme Court decides the McCutcheon case, involving aggregate contribution limitations, that the standards for judging the constitutionality of contribution limit laws could change, making those laws harder to sustain. That could open up the corporate contribution limitation yet again. But in the meantime, the reform community dodged a bullet, because if the Court agreed to take Danielczyk, it almost surely would have been to reverse the Court’s earlier case on the question.
Yet another ray of light in an otherwise bleak campaign finance picture.
“Supreme Court Could Create System of Legalized Bribery in Washington Depending on its Decision in McCutcheon Case”
Editorial: “Let the indignation begin. We refer to the Supreme Court’s welcome decision this week to hear the case of McCutcheon v. FEC, which is another chance to liberate political speech from the clutches of a narrow political class. Expect much liberal mau-mauing of Chief Justice John Roberts, especially after he folded on ObamaCare last year.”
It turns out that Danielczyk has been relisted for Friday’s conference. (Thanks to a reader for calling this to my attention.) The Court could still put the case on hold for McCutcheon, or grant and hear the case net term as well, or deny cert. My betting at this point would be on the first or second, but not the third, option. We’ll see.
MORE to come…
Today the Supreme Court agreed to hear the McCutcheon case challenging the limits on the total amount of aggregate contributions a person may make to candidates, party committees, and certain PACs. I thought this decision to hear the case was fairly likely, given that the case came up on appeal rather than on cert.—meaning a decision not to hear the case would mean that the Supreme Court agreed with the lower court ruling on the merits (something not true with a cert. petition—once again, the technical distinction between cert. petitions and appeals in election law cases moves the law forward more quickly).
How significant is this case? In some ways, in the era of Super PACs and c4s, the issues here are less burning than in years past. After all, while it is true that a person could not give, say, $2,600 to a candidate for each congressional office in a two-year period without running afoul of the aggregate contribution limits, that same person could give unlimited sums to Super PACs or c4s which could spend MUCH more than $2,600 per race from that person to support that candidate for office.
But the case has broader significance—this case will mark the first opportunity for the Supreme Court to say something about how it will review the constitutionality of contribution limits after the Citizens United case. CU involved independent expenditures by corporations, and the Court in CU expressly refused in that case to reconsider any of the law related to contributions. It is possible in this case, for example, that the conservative five Justices in CU set out a general standard for reviewing contribution limits which makes them harder to sustain against constitutional challenge. In the past, contribution limits were subject to a very complaisant standard of review, very easy to sustain against challenge. (The possibility that the Court could do this may explain why the Court has not ruled on the pending cert. petition in the Danielczyk case, challenging the constitutionality of the ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates. It could well hold this case for the outcome of McCutheon.)
More broadly, a decision to strike down aggregate contribution limits could lead the Court to overrule that portion of Buckley v. Valeo upholding aggregate contribution limits. This would be of enormous symbolic significance. Buckley has been the law since 1976, an uneasy compromise making independent spending limits very tough to uphold (upheld later against corporations in Austin, later reversed in CU), but contribution limits very easy to uphold. Striking part of the Buckley edifice could mean that more will fall, and that the Court’s general skepticism toward the constitutionality of limits already in play in the independent spending area could spread to contribution limits.
This would be the next logical progression of the Roberts court on these issues, ever since Justice Alito replaced Justice O’Connor. As I wrote in 2006 in No Exit? The Roberts Court and the Future of Election Law:
- Making predictions is always dangerous, and the conclusions I reach should be taken in the tentative spirit in which they are made. My best guess is that a decade from now, we may well face a set of election law rules that differ a great deal from today’s rules. It may be that in 2016, individuals, corporations, and unions will be free to give as much money as they want to any candidate or group, subject to the filing of disclosure reports. The federal government’s ability to protect the voting rights of minority groups that historically have been the victims of state discrimination may be curtailed by the inability of Congress to require any jurisdictions to submit their voting changes for preclearance and by an emasculated reading of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The ability of states to manipulate election rules for partisan gain may present the greatest danger as the Court exits from that corner of the political thicket. For those who look to courts for the promotion of political equality, the signs are not encouraging.
At 9:30 am Eastern Tuesday (when I’ll be driving to work), the Supreme Court is set to issue its latest set of orders. As I explained in this post, there’s a fair chance the Court will agree to hear a case (McCutcheon) raising the question of the constitutionality of aggregate contribution limits (limiting how much an individual can give to federal candidate and party committees in a two year period).
A ruling in this case could have important implications not only on the issue itself, but on the broader question whether the Court will change the standard for judging the constitutionality of limits on contributions, an issue the Court expressly declined to address in Citizens United. It could also lead the Court for the first time to overrule a portion of the key 1976 case, Buckley v. Valeo.
the order won’t come before Tuesday at 9:30 am.
If I had to make a prediction, I’d predict that the Court takes the McCutcheon case involving the aggregate contribution limit but not the Danielczyk case, about the constitutionality of the ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates. McCutcheon is coming up on appeal and not cert, and a decision to not hear the case counts as a ruling on the merits. Also, there’s no circuit split on the corporate contribution case, and there’s a strong anti-circumvention argument against allowing corporate contributions: an individual could easily evade the individual contribution limits through setting up an unlimited number of corporations to make additional contributions.
How confident am I in this prediction about what the Court will do? Not very.
[This post has been updated.]
The NLJ reports (article currently behind paywall; UPDATE: now freely available). In the article I make predictions about whether the Court will take Danielczyk and McCutcheon.
Steve Hoersting: “What does this mean? It doesn’t just mean Team Obama is prepared, and deserves, to lose Danielcyzk and McCutcheon, for whether they do or not doesn’t affect their strategy. It means the concerted movement for federal campaign-finance reform is over… at least for awhile.”
Bloomberg BNA: “The Supreme Court is set to consider next month whether to grant review of a constitutional challenge to the century-old ban on corporate campaign contributions (Danielczyk v. U.S., U.S., No. 12-579, cert. petition filed 11/8/12). The case challenging the corporate contribution ban was distributed Jan. 23 for consideration at the justices’ private conference on Feb. 15. The court also received Jan. 23 a reply brief from lawyers representing businessmen William Danielczyk and Eugene Biagi.”
Also at the same conference: a petition (McCutcheon) challenging the aggregate contribution limitation.
A cert grant in both would not surprise me.
Bloomberg BNA: “The Supreme Court is set to consider on Friday, Feb. 15, whether to grant review of a constitutional challenge to the aggregate limit on federal campaign contributions (McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, U.S., No. 12-536, jurisdictional statement filed 10/26/12).”
AP reports on the cert denial. Recently, the Court has shown little interest in hearing campaign finance cases on disclosure, the rules related to political committee status, and the line between express advocacy and issue advocacy.
It’s a better bet that the Court will agree to hear the McCutcheon case involving the constitutionality of aggregate contribution limits.
Bloomberg BNA: “The Supreme Court was urged to uphold the aggregate limit on federal campaign contributions in a Jan. 2 government filing. The filing came in response to a challenge pending before the high court brought by the Republican National Committee and GOP contributor Shaun McCutcheon (McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, U.S., No. 12-536, motion to dismiss or affirm filed 1/2/13).”
The government is set to respond in early January to twin constitutional challenges now pending before the Supreme Court that seek to invalidate aggregate limits on federal campaign contributions.
In a recent order, the high court set a Jan. 2 deadline for a response to a challenge brought by the Republican National Committee and GOP contributor Shaun McCutcheon, who want to overturn the overall cap on contributions to federal candidates, political parties, and traditional PACs (McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, U.S., No. 12-536, jurisdictional statement 10/26/12). The aggregate limit was set at $117,000 for the 2012 election cycle but is due to be adjusted for inflation next year.
The Supreme Court has set a Jan. 3 deadline for a government response in another case, a challenge launched by Virginia James, a major Republican campaign contributor from New Jersey, who objected to the limit on total contributions to federal candidates (James v. FEC, U.S., No. 12-683, jurisdictional statement 11/30/12).
“Alabama man challenges limits on federal campaign contributions; GOP donor claims 2-year total contribution limit unconstitutional”
Gannett: “An Alabama businessman and major Republican donor is asking the Supreme Court to throw out certain limits on donations to federal candidates.Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover is challenging the $46,200 limit on total contributions to candidates over a two-year election cycle as a violation of the First Amendment. His case is one of several moving through the courts designed to chip away at caps on political contributions.”
You can read the jurisdictional statement in McCutcheon v. FEC at this link.
Venable’s Political Law Briefing: “A case headed to the Supreme Court could upend longstanding rules limiting federal political contributions. The Republican National Committee and an individual plaintiff filed the appeal after a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected their challenge to limits on the total amount an individual may contribute over a two-year period in connection with federal elections.”
In a very convincing opinion by Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who basically says that this is a result dictated by precedent, and that the RNC can ask the Supreme Court, but not lower courts, to change that precedent.
And I expect the RNC will do just that.
(See also this release from the Campaign Legal Center.)
Bloomberg BNA: “A Republican Party court challenge to federal limits on campaign contributions is set to be heard Sept. 6 by a three-judge court in Washington, D.C., and a ruling could come soon after that (McCutcheon v. FEC, D.D.C., No. 12-1034, filed 6/22/12). This summer, the Republican National Committee joined a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission to strike down the aggregate limit of $117,000 that an individual may contribute to federal candidates and political parties during the current two-year election cycle.”
Press release: “Today, the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed an amici brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to defend the aggregate contribution limits against a challenge brought by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Shaun McCutcheon. Despite clear Supreme Court precedent upholding aggregate contribution limits, plaintiffs in McCutcheon v. FEC challenge both the $70,800 aggregate limit on contributions to non-candidate committees and the $46,200 aggregate limit on contributions to candidate committees in a two-year election cycle.”
A big new case filed Friday in D.C. federal district court: Plaintiffs in McCutcheon v. FEC, represented by Jim Bopp and Steve Hoersting, seek a preliminary injunction against:
a. the limits on contributions to non-candidate committees at 2 U.S.C. § 441a(a)(3)(B), as applied to contributions to national party committees and facially, and
b. the limit on contributions to candidate committees at 2 U.S.C. § 441a(a)(3)(A).
The moving papers may be found here. Plaintiffs have requested a three-judge court per BCRA.
Update: BNA has this report.