Supreme Court Knocks Down Aggregate Limits, Falls Short of McConnell's Extreme Request

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Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Supreme Court sided against Sen. Mitch McConnell’s radical effort to allow wealthy donors to give unlimited contributions directly to candidates today in its McCutcheon v. FEC decision. While the Court’s decision to throw out aggregate contribution limits will allow big donors to have more influence in politics, it did not go nearly as far as McConnell’s lawyer had argued. 

“Sen. McConnell asked the Supreme Court to hand our elections completely over to those who can write million dollar contributions to politicians like him, but the justices rightfully disagreed,” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “While today’s decision is by no means a victory for everyday people, Kentuckians should be concerned that Sen. McConnell continues to push the envelope in the courts to allow for unlimited campaign contributions. That’s not just bad policy; it’s extreme and unpopular.”

During oral arguments in October, Sen. McConnell’s lawyer Bobby Burchfield urged the Court to follow a legal rationale that would have led to contribution limits being removed entirely, more than was argued in McCutcheon. Burchfield told the Court, “Gratitude and influence are not considered to be quid pro quo corruption.”

“In Mitch McConnell’s world, the more money you have, the more gratitude and influence you can buy in politics, and he sees nothing wrong with that,” said Donnelly. “Instead of trying to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans, Sen. McConnell should support efforts to give them more say.”

Public Campaign Action Fund and US Action ran a television ad campaign before and right after the arguments educating Kentuckians on McConnell’s efforts at the Court. The ad is available at