Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in the landmark campaign finance case before the United States Supreme Court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (often referred to as “Citizens United 2”), spoke to Miami Law students on October 1st at an event held by the Federalist Society.
McCutcheon opened his lecture by differentiating between, “what the case is and what it is not,” in his effort to clarify the widely debated and discussed events of McCutcheon. The former plaintiff elaborated as to why he brought the case and how he challenged Section 441 of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which imposed a biennial aggregate limit on individual contributions to national parties and federal candidate committees.
McCutcheon was argued before the Supreme Court on October 8, 2013. The case had been brought by on appeal after the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit. McCutcheon was successful in his challenge when the decision was made in his favor before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 2, 2014, in a 5-4 vote.
During McCutcheon’s visit to Miami Law, he stressed that, “[Companies] like Coca Cola spend billions on advertising, and the [United States] spends much less on its campaign advertising.” McCutcheon also went on to state that, “If we are going to be free in America, why shouldn’t we be free to spend our money on political advertising.”
Today, McCutcheon is being referred to as a “political rock star” and he claims that he is on a mission to “change the world.”