Big (Quixotic?) Push to Get Supreme Court to Hold that Congress Has the Constitutional Power to Outlaw Super PACs

The cert petition in Lieu v. FEC is designed to get the Supreme Court to address an issue addressed by the D.C. Circuit in the earlier SpeechNow case but never addressed by the Supreme Court: is it constitutional for Congress to limit contributions to political committees that make only independent expenditures (so-called super pacs)? Some heavy hitters on the cert petition, and a number of amicus briefs urging cert., including one from legal scholars and one from political scientists.

I’m extremely skeptical that the Court would take this case (because a majority would agree with the D.C. Circuit in SpeechNow was right that the limits on contributions to super PACs are unconstitutional). And if the Court took the case, I believe it would only make campaign finance law even more deregulatory.

I say all this as someone who has written extensively that the Court’s current campaign finance jurisprudence is wrong, and that such limits should be constitutional. But I cannot imagine this Court agreeing. There’s no Justice among the conservatives who seems to swing even a bit on these issues.

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