by Richard A. Epstein
April 09, 2014
This past week, in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court struck down yet another portion of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). The Court ruled that the aggregate limit for contributions by any one individual to all candidates and non-candidate committees in any two-year election cycle was not reasonably tailored to prevent the risk of corruption in political elections. Justice Stephen Breyer argued in dissent for the law’s necessity to prevent rich people from drowning out the voices of ordinary people in political elections. Justice Breyer ignores the point that in dealing with regulations on political speech, the burden remains on the government to demonstrate he necessity of specific regulations to deal with demonstrated abuses. It turns the First Amendment upside down to impose any restrictive regulations before demonstrating a breakdown in political processes.