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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Case That Could 'Empower Super-Rich to Buy Elections'

Oral arguments heard in case that could have biggest impact on elections since Citizens United.

"“If the Court sides with the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC and overturns aggregate contribution limits, a single individual could spend as much as $3.6 million on a single election, enough to buy the attention of the president and every single member of Congress,” warned citizen advocacy group Common Cause. "The potential for corruption—indeed its inevitability— if those limits are removed is clear and present and more than sufficient to justify keeping them in place," the group added. Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, echoed the warning, saying that "If the court decides to strike down limits on what an individual can give directly to candidates, parties and PACs, the real-world impact is plain enough. A few hundred people will be empowered to spend millions to buy elections."

Already, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) noted on Tuesday, “We are living in a society where a handful of people with incredible sums of money like the Koch brothers and others are undermining what this democracy is supposed to be about.” Weissman said that if the caps are struck down, "We will see a rise in corruption both as the public understands the term – meaning the entire political system will shift still more to favor the super-rich – and as the Supreme Court defines it – meaning quid pro quo corruption.""

To better understand how Citizens United works, watch this: