Prof. Levitt publishes op-ed in Politico on the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling

Professor Justin Levitt published an op-ed on the result of the McCutcheon v. FEC in Politico. He reasoned that while the Supreme Court did strike down several campaign finance limits, the ruling also negatively impacts wealthy donors. 


The final result in McCutcheon v. FEC was not the apocalyptic ruling some anticipated. Leading up to Wednesday’s opinion, there was no shortage of end-of-days soothsaying. Blame the court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which apparently recalibrated the rhetorical stakes for this type of case.

The court’s actual ruling undershot the hype. It left intact the same legal approach in place since the 1970s. The court used to look very skeptically at limits on independent spending (by organizations like super PACs), and left more regulatory latitude for limits on gifts directly to parties and candidates (and groups that donate directly to parties and candidates). It does still.