2014-04-02T161904Z_3_CBREA3113XA00_RTROPTP_2_USA-COURT

Supreme Court's rejection of U.S. campaign funding limits opens door for big-money donors

Visitors to the Supreme Court are pictured jn the rain in WashingtonBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a key pillar of federal campaign finance law by allowing donors to give money to as many political candidates, parties and committees as they wish. The ruling – a 5-4 decision with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority – could have an immediate impact on the 2014 midterm elections, in which Republicans are likely to keep control of the House of Representatives and are seeking to gain six Senate seats to take over that chamber. Instead of being limited to giving candidates and party groups a total of $123,200 for the 2014 elections, a wealthy donor who wanted to give the maximum amount to every House and Senate candidate and every political committee in his or her party could now give nearly $6 million, according to public advocacy groups. “It is the right of the individual, and not the prerogative of Congress, to determine how many candidates and parties to support,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a long-time critic of campaign finance restrictions who is in an expensive battle for re-election and was a litigant in the case.

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