Even more money could be flowing into broadcast and cable political ad coffers in the current election cycle after the Supreme Court removed a barrier to individual campaign contributions that will allow individuals to put millions more into campaigns.
The court, in a 5-4 decision, Wednesday reversed a lower court ruling and concluded that the biennial cap on a single individual's aggregate political contributions in any two-year election cycle violated First Amendment rights.
The Federal Election Commission has been able to set individual and aggregate contribution limits. The individual limit—$2,600 per candidate or committee per election—remains in place. But the aggregate biennial limit of $123,200 for the 2013-2014 election cycle—$48,600 to all candidates; $74,600 to all PACs and parties—has now been invalidated by the court majority.
According to various reports, individuals will now be able to contribute north of $3.5 million across all candidates and PACs in an election cycle.
In some quadrants it was being called a blow to Democracy (a New York Times blog posting) and a disaster (Salon.com) worse than the Citizens United case, in which the Supremes ruled that a prohibition on direct funding of campaign ads by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment.