Volume 86, Number 4

October 2011

PACs Post-Citizens United: Improving Accountability and Equality in Campaign Finance

Jeremy R. Peterman

In this Note I argue that the Federal Election Campaign Act’s $5000 limitation on
individual contributions to political committees should be removed. I advance two
main arguments. First, in light of recent campaign finance decisions, the limitation
appears to be unconstitutional as it imposes a limit on First Amendment rights
without being tailored to the government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption.
Second, eliminating the contribution limitation will have previously unrecognized
normative benefits. Smaller PACs representing a variety of viewpoints will
be more able to compete with established corporate and union PACs, and the
volume of accountable political speech may increase as more money is channeled
through PACs to candidates’ hands.