(MintPress) – The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a case that further reduces already lax restrictions on campaign spending.
Following the 2010 Citizens United ruling, American elections have seen a spike in campaign spending by corporations and wealthy individuals, a worrying trend for critics concerned about the state of American electoral processes.
Legally, Americans contribute up to $48,600 to federal candidates and $74,600 to political parties and an individual can give a maximum of $123,200 for the 2013-2014 election.
Shaun McCutcheon, a conservative activist and businessman from Alabama filed the lawsuit along with the Republican National Committee in June because he is seeking to contribute more than the regulated amounts.
Americans can already donate unlimited amounts to third party organizations or advocacy groups called political action committees, or PACs. PACs can solicit unlimited amounts of money from citizens or corporations that can be used to advocate on behalf of a particular political party or candidate.
U.S. elections are already awash in special interest money that has a direct influence on the outcome of elections. A record $6 billion was spent during the 2012 election cycle, smashing the previous record of $700 million.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan political watchdog group, the candidate who spends the most money on his campaign wins office more than 90 percent of the time.
McCutcheon’s legal challenge runs counter to public opinion that stands in firm opposition to Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions that have opened the floodgates of political spending by corporations and wealthy individuals.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken shortly after the Citizens United ruling found that Americans overwhelmingly oppose the decision allowing corporations and unions the ability to spend as much as they want on political campaigns. Eighty percent of the American public, regardless of political background, oppose Citizens United.
This opposition led Congressman Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) to introduce a landmark constitutional amendment last week designed to limit runaway campaign spending by corporations and wealthy individuals in U.S. elections.
The constitutional amendment is supported by the Move to Amend coalition, a group of more than 267,000 citizens seeking to remove special interest money from the campaign process by transitioning to more transparent, publicly-funded political campaigns.
Although there are no reports indicating when the Supreme Court would rule on this case, tradition indicates that the Court usually decides cases within three months.