McCutcheon v. FEC

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, 572 U.S. 185 (2014), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court on campaign finance. The decision held that Section 441 of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which imposed a limit on contributions an individual can make over a two-year period to all national party and federal candidate committees, is unconstitutional.[1]

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission
Argued October 8, 2013
Decided April 2, 2014
Full case nameShaun McCutcheon, et al., Appellants v. Federal Election Commission
Docket no.12-536
Citations572 U.S. 185 (more)
134 S. Ct. 1434; 188 L. Ed. 2d 468
ArgumentOral argument
Case history
Prior893 F. Supp. 2d 133 (D.D.C. 2012)
Aggregate contribution limits to campaign finance violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Roberts
Associate Justices
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
Clarence Thomas · Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer · Samuel Alito
Sonia Sotomayor · Elena Kagan
Case opinions
PluralityRoberts, joined by Scalia, Kennedy, Alito
ConcurrenceThomas (in judgment)
DissentBreyer, joined by Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I

The case was argued before the Supreme Court on October 8, 2013,[2] being brought on appeal after the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the challenge. It was decided on April 2, 2014, by a 5–4 vote,[3] reversing the decision below and remanding. Justices Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito invalidated "aggregate contribution limits" (amounts one can contribute over the two-year period) as violating the First Amendment. Justice Thomas provided the necessary fifth vote, but concurred separately in the judgment while arguing that all contribution limits are unconstitutional.