In its recent McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could not place limits on an individual’s total campaign donations. Previously the government limited an individual’s total campaign donations to federal candidates to $48,600 per two-year period. Thanks to the Court’s decision, that number is now unlimited. However, it left in place an individual’s yearly limit of $2600 per election per candidate.
Liberals are not happy about this decision. I happened to come across two of them on C-SPAN the other day talking about how awful this kind of “judicial activism” was. I found that quite ironic, considering the fact that liberals have always loved judicial activism. Apparently, they do love it – except when they don’t. As long as the judicial activism involves inventing constitutional rights and concepts that did previously exist, they are all for it. But just let the Court assert First Amendment rights that have always existed and should never have been abridged (as it did in this case), and they scream bloody murder.
Actually, the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case is not an example of judicial activism. The Court simply issued a correct interpretation of the First Amendment. There is nothing activist about that. Yet liberals are crying the blues because the Court would not allow the government to restrict what people can do with their own money. Liberals give lots of lip service to freedom but they rarely miss an opportunity to restrict it. Their complaint about this decision is that it will put the rich in charge of the political system in this county. Rich individuals and big corporations will control every candidate, they say.
But that’s not necessarily so. We have laws against corruption and bribery to prevent politicians from selling favors in exchange for large donations. Let’s enforce those laws. Meanwhile, let’s stop infringing on individual freedom. The Supreme Court has spoken.