Essential Pittsburgh
3:23 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court's New Term

University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris believes that the limit for campaign financing will eventually be eliminated.
University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris believes that the limit for campaign financing will eventually be eliminated.
Credit University of Pittsburgh Law School

Although this new Supreme Court session may not feature blockbuster cases such as DOMA, Proposition 8 and "Obama Care," the court will be revisiting important cases dealing with campaign finance, abortion and affirmative action.

Campaign finance laws were decided upon in the wake of Nixon’s term as President, placing limits on how much money a single person could donate, putting the cap at $2,300. The court is taking a second look at this and deciding whether it infringes upon the first amendment right of free speech.

University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris predicts that the court will make a new decision in favor of removing this limit. Instead of a flat limit, campaign contributors would be able to pay in $2,300 increments, allowing them to donate more than before.

“In the long run, this will skew campaign funding because more wealthy individuals favor conservative, Republican candidates,” says Harris.

An abortion case will also be reviewed involving the constitutionality of the protection barriers surrounding the entrances of abortion clinics. If this law is reversed, those against abortion will be able to protest right outside the doors of any clinic.

Affirmative Action also comes under new scrutiny. The Supreme Court will be discussing whether it is legal states to include a statewide constitutional referendum prohibiting any racial preference when considering applicants for higher education institutions.