The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the case of McCutcheon v. FEC on Wednesday and issued that the ban on the number of candidates and party committees to which an individual can contribute during a two-year election cycle is unconstitutional, according to the Washington Post.
What would have surely been the biggest April Fool’s Day joke of the year is sadly a very serious and unfortunate setback in the battle for fair and balanced election and campaign processes.
The decision further promotes the notion that monetary donations are a form of free speech.
“This case represents yet another missed opportunity to right the course of our campaign finance jurisprudence by restoring a standard that is faithful to the First Amendment,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion.
I can understand how money could be viewed as free speech, and I do not dispute that. Donating money is a form of expressing a favored viewpoint and that can’t be disputed.
What I do challenge is the elitist power-grab that this decision promotes.
Approximately 600 donors gave the maximum of the $123,200 amount during the 2012 campaign cycle, according to USA Today. It is only those roughly 600 people that this decision benefits, and 99 percent of Americans don’t make that much money in a year without taxes.
Certainly, in the spirit of competition, the ideal candidate is seemingly mythical. But as the parties become more polarized and the population becomes more moderate, will the candidates and overarching political environment become less and less representative?
While Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion in the case attempts to persuade the public that corruption will be defeated through the transparency provided in the ruling, I remain hesitant to limit corruption to simply of monetary means.
I argue that it would be corrupt for partisan elites to have the power to essentially purchase the partisan candidates they favor, leaving the overwhelming majority of moderate America with a degrading decision between the lesser of two evils.
This decision only secures a heightened freedom of speech for the incredibly wealthy and partisan few that will demean the integrity of candidate selection.
Dewey Mullis, a junior criminal justice major from Wallburg, is an opinion writer.