The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that aggregate limits on campaign donations violate the First Amendment.
The 5-4 majority decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, held that overall limits on contributions “do not further the permissible government interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption,” according to SCOTUSblog.
“This case does not involve any challenge to the base limits, which we have previously upheld as serving the permissible objective of combatting corruption,” Roberts wrote in the opinion. “The Government contends that the aggregate limits also serve that objective, by preventing circumvention of the base limits.”
“We conclude, however, that the aggregate limits do little, if anything, to address that concern, while seriously restricting participation in the democratic process,” he added.
The ruling leaves in place preexisting limits on contributions to individual candidates, however.
Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with the holding in McCutcheon v. FEC, but added that he would have gone further to fully overrule limits established by Buckley v. Valeo.
Read the full opinion below:
This post has been updated.