BOSTON (CBS) – These are the stories that make people hate politics.
Because if you were already disgusted by the influence of money in Washington, get ready for more.
A 5-to-4 ruling by the Supreme Court removes the limit on cash that individuals can give federal candidates, political parties and political action committees.
It does not change the amount that donors can give to a single candidate or party – rather it allows people to contribute the legal limit to as many candidates or groups as they want.
That overall limit used to be more than $123,000. This decision sends that number into the millions if someone actually chose to give money to candidates in every House and Senate race in the country.
The justification may not seem obvious to some people, but supporters say this is a matter of free speech.
Chief Justice John Roberts writes that if the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades, it surely protects political campaign speech.
And this will have an impact on local politics.
State officials did not waste time in announcing they would no longer enforce the state limit on overall contributions to politicians running on the state, county or local level.
The limit for each candidate will again stay the same.
But let’s consider what this really means.
Because most people do not give millions or even thousands of dollars to politicians. Which is why this ruling changes the rules for only the wealthiest people in America – the same people who already had an oversized influence on politics.
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