PLESSY, BUCKLEY, AND LEFTY-LOOSEY: HISTORY DEMONSTRATES THAT THE SPIGOT SEPARATING MONEY AND CANDIDATES WILL CONTINUE TO ROTATE IN AN OMINOUS DIRECTION.
By Kyle S. Kushner*
“Money, like water, will always find an outlet.”
– Justices O’Connor and Stevens in McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93, 224 (2003), overruled by Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310, 366 (2010).
In 2012, the first presidential election cycle after the Supreme Court struck down the ban on independent corporate expenditures in Citizens United v. FEC, a mere 216 donors contributed 68% of the total funds raised by “super” political action committees. The 2012 elections also saw 646 individuals reach the maximum overall donation limit recently invalidated by the Court in McCutcheon v. FEC.
The lessons of history counsel that this influx of concentrated private donations into campaign coffers will continue unabated until the last vestiges of campaign finance regulation are eliminated.
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* Kyle S. Kushner is a third-year law student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he serves as a member of the Law Review’s Executive Board. Kyle graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2012 after participating on a campaign for South Carolina Attorney General.
He thanks Professor Christopher J. Peters for his guidance and support throughout the writing process.