FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N Syllabus base limits appropriately served the Government’s anticorruption in-terest, the District Court concluded that the aggregate limits sur-vived First Amendment scrutiny because they prevented evasion of the base limits.
: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded. 893 F. Supp. 2d 133, reversed and remanded. C
, joined by J
, and J
, concluded that the aggregate limits are inva-lid under the First Amendment. Pp. 7–40.(a) Appellants’ substantial First Amendment challenge to the cur-rent system of aggregate limits merits plenary consideration. Pp. 7– 14. (1) In
, this Court evaluated the constitutionality of the original contribution and expenditure limits in FECA.
dis-tinguished the two types of limits based on the degree to which each encroaches upon protected First Amendment interests. It subjected expenditure limits to “the exacting scrutiny applicable to limitationson core First Amendment rights of political expression.” 424 U. S
, at 44–45. But it concluded that contribution limits impose a lesser re-straint on political speech and thus applied a lesser but still “rigorousstandard of review,”
at 29, under which such limits “may be sus-tained if the State demonstrates a sufficiently important interest and employs means closely drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgement of associational freedoms,”
at 25. Because the Court found that the primary purpose of FECA—preventing
quid pro quo
corruption and its appearance—was a “sufficiently important” governmental inter-est,
at 26–27, it upheld the base limit under the “closely drawn” test,
at 29. After doing so, the Court devoted only one paragraphof its 139-page opinion to the aggregate limit then in place under FECA, noting that the provision “ha[d] not been separately addressedat length by the parties.”
at 38. It concluded that the aggregatelimit served to prevent circumvention of the base limit and was “nomore than a corollary” of that limit.
at 38. Pp. 7–9.(2) There is no need in this case to revisit
’s distinction between contributions and expenditures and the corresponding dis-tinction in standards of review. Regardless whether strict scrutiny orthe “closely drawn” test applies, the analysis turns on the fit betweenthe stated governmental objective and the means selected to achieve that objective. Here, given the substantial mismatch between theGovernment’s stated objective and the means selected to achieve it,the aggregate limits fail even under the “closely drawn” test.
’s ultimate conclusion about the constitutionality of the ag-gregate limit in place under FECA does not control here.
spent just three sentences analyzing that limit, which had not been