Following on the slippery slope of the Citizens United ruling, the Supreme Court decided in favor of the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC to eliminate limits on aggregate campaign contributions. The argument was that money counted as speech, and that speech was protected by the 1st Amendment.
We can only speculate what the effect this will have on the political landscape, but it begs the question: is money really speech?
The idea that money counts as speech was introduce in the 1976 Supreme Court ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.
Open up your wallet. Do you hear the dollar bills talking among themselves? Does your bank ever call and tell you that they wish the money in your savings account would pipe down? Good luck explaining to the IRS that you’re paying your taxes by talking.
The reality is that money isn’t speech. It’s property.