WICHITA, Kansas – The Supreme Court opens the flood gates on political contributions in a 5 to 4 ruling.
The justices ruled there is no cap how much individuals can give in one election season, meaning the richest donors can now spend at will on their party of choice.
The ruling prompted about a dozen protesters to take to the streets in Wichita.
They don’t think political donations fall under the first amendment.
“We’re out here just trying to express our outrage at the Supreme Court decision,” said protester Brad Beachey.
The ruling allows the country’s wealthiest donors to spend as much as they want during a single election season.
Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold insists political donations should be protected as free speech.
“If they have the resources they should be able to use those however they deem fit and it is part of the first amendment,” Arnold said.
The 5-4 vote was split down party lines, with the Republican-appointed justices voting in favor and the four Democratic appointees ruling against it. That’s a split Brad Beachey says took him by surprise.
“Because it’s not a partisan issue I mean there’s a lot of wealthy people on both sides of the aisle and these people are now going to have more influence in our political process than they did already and they already had too much,” Beachey said.
But Arnold argues this decision will actually make it easier to follow the money.
“With this ruling it’s going to give a more transparency these individuals will slowly come back to donating directly to the candidates, to the political parties where we can then of course identify who they are, what their contribution was and see how their contribution was then used,” he said.
During the last presidential race in 2012, the richest donors gave more than $90 million.
The Center For Responsive Politics estimates 60 percent of the largest donations allowed by law back then went to the Republican party.