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Supreme Court Lifts Ban On Campaign Contribution Limitations

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Supreme Court Lifts Ban On Campaign Contribution Limitations

CREATED Apr 2, 2014

by Shannon Royster

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Protesters gathered in Washington D.C. Wednesday standing against the Supreme Court's decision to lift the ban on campaign contribution limitations.

Roy Herron, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party says people should fight it. 

"Every billionaire in this country is applauding this decision and every working man and woman ought to be denouncing this decision," he said. "What it means is the richest people in this country can buy elections."

Brent Leatherwood, executive director for the Tennessee Republican Party strongly disagrees saying today is a great day for the first amendment. 

"I think free speech will determine who gets into office, so the Supreme Court said today money in politics equates to free speech and we agree with that," he said.  "When free speech is able to flow freely we think our democracy will be stronger."

The justices ruled 5-4 in a decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts. That decision now does away with the $123,000 overall total limit and now allows people to spend millions toward candidates and political parties. 

"What this leads to is more transparency because it means that not only will donors be able to give to all seven of our federally elected republicans but they can go help republican candidates in other states," said Leatherwood.
  
Herron says he thinks the decision will lead to less democracy.

"It means that more than votes, money is going to talk, and it's going to talk louder than it's ever spoken before in this country," he said.

The restrictions were first put in place to guard against corruption, but Chief Roberts has said the financial limits don't act to prevent it. Herron and Leatherwood don't agree on this either.

"It's a bad decision," said Herron. "It's a decision that's on the side of the super rich republicans and against the side of the working people and the middle class."  

While Leatherwood says he believes both sides should be happy about today's ruling.

"This is a non-partisan decision that we think is a good thing for transparency in politics,"  said Leatherwood.

The justices left in place the limit an individual may contribute to a specific candidate for president or congress.  That's still set at $2,600. However donors can now contribute that amount to as many candidates as they choose.

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