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Big money in politics: What are the limits?
Almost 40 years ago, in Buckley vs. Valeo, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress didn't violate the 1st Amendment when it imposed reasonable limits on contributions to political candidates and campaign committees in an attempt to check the role of big money in politics. That bedrock of campaign finance law survived even the court's ill-conceived decision in Citizens United three years ago removing restrictions on independent political spending by corporations and unions. But some wealthy Americans have never reconciled themselves to the idea that they can't lavish as much money as they want on their favorite candidates, and some Supreme Court justices are sympathetic to that point of view. On Tuesday, the court will hear a case that could mark the beginning of the end of restrictions on contributions.
By The Times editorial board
October 7, 2013