Successful Plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon participated in a panel discussionat the Cato Institute Wednesday to discuss the practical implications his case involving federal campaign donations. The 2013 Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC eliminated aggregate limits restricting how much money a donor may contribute to federal candidates.
McCutcheon recently authored the book Outsider Inside the Supreme Court: A Decisive First Amendment Battle, and will be a featured speaker at this year’s National Election Law Seminar.
Outsider Inside the Supreme Court is a layman’s take on the First Amendment battle over campaign finance. At the panel discussion, McCutcheon praised the Supreme Court saying, “we won, the First Amendment won. . .”
“I’m grass-roots proof that private citizens retain some influence, and with determination, we can achieve positive change within our country,” Former FEC Chairman Don McGahn echoed the need for increased participation by private citizens saying, “when you look at how much money is spent advertising chocolate chip cookies, money spent on political advertising is just a drop in the bucket.”
Speaking in response to incumbents seeking to closely regulate campaign finance, such as Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats, McCutcheon thinks that, “those who govern should be the last to interject on who should govern.”
McCutcheon observed that, “PACs came into being only after campaign finance limits were imposed during the 1970s,” in the wake of Buckley. “In one fell swoop, supporters of campaign finance laws have managed to supercharge the growth of super PACs, while taking away the ability of average Americans to directly support the candidates who would actually take office in the people’s service.”
McCutcheon concluded by stating he believes individual limits are still too low, and that he intends to give the full amount to his favored candidates this election cycle.