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There are now no limits on individual campaign contributions to politicians running for seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court just struck down a limit on contributions that had been in place since the 1970s.
The Court voted 5-4, with the conservative judges voting to strike down the law. It had limited political donations for congressional races to $123,000 a year, reports The Los Angeles Times.
It is seen as an extension of the controversial 2010 Citizens United decision, which lifted a limit on corporate and union donations to political campaigns.
As the Associated Press notes that the Court did stop short of lifting a limit on Presidential races, which is currently at $2,600 per election.
In the decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said that the limit did not stop political corruption and only served to limit the free speech of big donors. Justice Clarence Thomas agreed, but wrote his own opinion, wishing that all campaign donation limits could be erased at once.
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the dissent, noting that the decision “eviscerated our nation’s campaign finance laws.”
These limits had been in place since the Watergate era, as Congress had hoped to regain the public’s trust by making sure millionaires couldn’t unfairly sway elections. But the Roberts court has slowly stripped away the measures.