NewsFlash: SCOTUS Preserves Campaign Finance Limits for State and Local Parties

May 22, 2017
Today, the Supreme Court once again upheld the authority of Congress to place limits on the size of campaign contributions. This time, the Supreme Court’s affirmance came in the case Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Commission, which arose from a challenge to the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law — or the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) — which limits state and local parties’ ability to funnel unlimited money into federal elections.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law jointly filed an amicus brief in March of 2016 with a pro-bono team led by Brennan Center Board Member Daniel F. Kolb, defending the constitutionality of BCRA. Although the Brennan Center has proposed targeted reforms to allow party committees more fundraising flexibility so that they can function as engines of political participation, the brief argued that these recommendations in no way imply that the current regime is unconstitutional.

“We are pleased to see they recognized what courts have held for decades, which is that party contribution limits prevent corruption and should be upheld,” said Daniel I. Weiner, senior counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice. “Updating campaign finance rules for political parties is a job for the democratic process to undertake, not the Court.”

Read the Brennan Center’s case page on Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Commission.

Read more about the Brennan Center’s work on money in politics.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Blaire Perel at (646) 925-8734 or perelb@brennan.law.nyu.edu.

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