Much of the post-McCutcheon discussion has focused on what might follow from the decision: are there other dominos to fall? Some predicted the ban on direct corporate contributions might be in play and noted that there was a case pending for the Supreme Court to consider. But Monday, the Court declined to hear that case.
An Iowa non-profit corporation had challenged that state’s ban on direct contributions from corporations and similar entities to candidates. But in a decision rendered last June, the Eighth Circuit upheld the ban because it served the state’s purpose “in preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption” – the same interest identified by the Supreme Court in McCutcheon as the only acceptable rationale for such restrictions.
By not taking the case, or even sending it back for reconsideration in light of McCutcheon, the Supreme Court left the Eighth Circuit’s ruling in place. In many ways this is unremarkable – after all, the Supreme Court declines to hear thousands of cases each year. But it appears to signal, especially in light of McCutcheon, that at least for now the Court is reluctant to wade back into the controversial waters of campaign finance.
* Admitted in Maryland, not yet admitted in D.C.