New York, NY - April 2, 2014 - In a 5-4 decision today in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down aggregate limits on campaign contributions to candidates and party committees in federal elections. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement on today’s decision:
“I am deeply disappointed by today’s decision to strike down aggregate contribution limits in our federal campaign finance laws. The majority decision ignores both the Court’s own precedent and common sense regarding the corrupting influence of unlimited contributions to parties or candidates if they are spread across different committees. Campaign finance laws protect the integrity and fairness of elections and help ensure that everyone—not just the wealthy or powerful corporations—are represented in our system of government. Together with Citizens United, this decision guts our campaign finance system and opens the door to corruption by handing a small minority of wealthy individuals the power to exercise undue influence over our government. The flood of money into our elections, which will only increase following this decision, will increase cynicism about government, reduce confidence among average voters that their voices matter, and undermine the legitimacy of our democracy.”
Attorney General Schneiderman is a staunch defender of campaign finance laws. His office is defending New York State's limitation on individual contributions to political committees in both the Southern and Northern Districts of New York.
In May, 2012 he led a bipartisan coalition of 22 states and the District of Columbia in a Supreme Court brief arguing the states have a compelling interest in regulating corporate spending in state and local elections, and that the Court should not summarily invalidate state campaign finance laws without a full hearing.
He has been an outspoken critic of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and an active supporter of efforts to enact a statewide system of public financing for elections in New York State. Prior to his election to public office, Eric Schneiderman served as the principal legal adviser to the Clean Money, Clean Elections campaign, which successfully advocated for an expansion of New York City’s public matching system.