The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission. Unlike the Citizens United case, this case is a campaign finance case about limits on a person's direct contributions to a candidate or political party rather than a corporation or union's spending. I'm a little mystified as to why the Court granted this case cert after it already gutted reasonable limits with the Citizens United case. That infamous case enabled any group or individuals to hide their identity while pouring unlimited amounts of cash into a campaign. Why reexamine individual spending when there is an outlet to fund unlimited contributions? The horses have already fled the barn.
Perhaps it is like Peter Overby suggests, that "the justices want to poke a constitutional hole in the contribution limits first, before taking up the [direct] corporate money ban." Or as Adam Liptak noted, it is probably in this case that the Court will revisit the landmark 1976 case Buckley v Valeo case in which the Court noted that limits are necessary to prevent corruption of the political process. (So did $$ become less corrupting between 1976 and 2013? Did campaign spending become more speechy since then? Or is it just the changes of personnel shifted the Court to the right?) Citizens United then might not be a doctrinal anomaly where the Court temporarily wandered from past precedent. It could be that it was the beginning of the end on the way to wiping out any kinds of limits on campaign donations in the name of equating all spending with free speech. It is sobering that the RNC is delighted at the cert grant to McCutcheon v FEC.