Press Releases

Conyers, Larson, and Brady Sign Amicus Brief Urging SCOTUS to Uphold Contribution Limits

Washington, DC, July 25, 2013

Today, Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) of the House Judiciary Committee, joined Congressman John B. Larson (D-Conn.), chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform, and Ranking Member Robert A. Brady (D-Penn.) of the Committee on House Administration, in submitting an Amicus brief to the Supreme Court regarding the upcoming McCutcheon v. FEC case. The three leading members were joined on the brief by 82 fellow members of the House of Representatives in urging the Court to uphold portions of the “McCain-Feingold” Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002."  This act restricted the total dollar amount of aggregate contributions a donor may make to candidate committees and other non-candidate political entities, such as political parties and PACs.

Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.): “The Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision has had an unquestionably corrosive impact on preventing corruption in our democratic process, and permitting corporate and special interests to make near limitless campaign contributions. To remedy this, I joined alongside 84 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives in submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC, urging the Court to support aggregate contribution limits. With our campaign finance laws under assault, I hope that the Supreme Court recognizes the importance of protecting one of the most important vestiges of electoral integrity.”

Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn): "In the past few years, several high profile Supreme Court cases have opened the floodgates for special interest money to enter our electoral process by weakening long established regulations on campaign contributions. This fall, the Supreme Court will have another opportunity to either allow special interests a new avenue in their relentless pursuit to buy-and-sell our elections, or prevent further corruption by upholding contribution limits vital to the integrity of our system. I’m proud to have joined 84 of my colleagues in sending an amicus brief to the Supreme Court asking them to uphold aggregate contribution limits as they argue McCutcheon v. FEC, and continue this essential check on the excessive role of money on our elections.”

Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-Penn.): “I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting current campaign contribution limits. The Supreme Court has long held that contribution limits are a constitutional exercise of Congress’s regulatory authority. Contribution limits are necessary to guard against corruption and ensure that elected officials work to represent the constituents that elected them rather than further the narrow interests of wealthy contributors.  The unchecked influx of secret, unlimited money after the Court’s Citizens United decision continues to further erode the faith the American public has in its elected officials. Striking down aggregate contribution limits would be devastating to our democracy.”

McCutcheon v. FEC is scheduled for oral argument before the Supreme Court this October.  Being challenged is the constitutionality of the current aggregate contribution limits that have been in place since the enactment of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.  Currently, this places a $48,600 limit for individual contributions to federal candidate committees combined and no more than $74,600 to all PACs and parties combined in a two-year cycle.  If the Supreme Court rules to end these limits, donors may directly contribute upwards of $3.5 million dollars to candidate committees and other non-candidate entities, such as national political parties, state political parties, and non-party committees.  Many legal analysts believe a ruling striking down these aggregate limits could pave the way for a  future decision which could eliminate all contribution limits, including individual candidate contribution limits, leading to unlimited direct campaign contributions.