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Campaign Finance Limits Heard Before Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court heard arguments this morning in a case that challenges current campaign finance limits.

The case seeks to lift the overall cap individuals can contribute in one election cycle.

Supporters say current laws limit free speech, but the government argues limits help prevent political corruption.

Protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court urging the justices to shoot down a case that would allow more money into political campaigns.

The court is hearing arguments in a case from Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon.

The republican activist wants the justices to overturn current limits on campaign contributions - arguing it violates free speech.

Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon says, "Being able to spread your political message is extremely important and it's fundamental. That is why it is the first amendment."

Right now 123,200 dollars is the max an individual can give to federal candidates, party committees or political action committees within an election cycle.

CBS news legal correspondent Jan Crawford says, "The way the law works is you can give the maximum amount to 18 different candidates and then you cap out he says I should be able to give to 30 different candidates if I want."

Three years ago the Supreme Court overturned limits on how much unions and corporations could contribute to campaigns. If the court sides with McCutcheon - one person could spend more than 3 million dollars in an election cycle.

Supports of campaign finance limits believe that would open the door to corruption.

"What you'll see is more money for campaigns coming from a smaller and smaller group of wealthy donors more power in our democracy," says Blair Bowie, who supports campaign finance limits.

The court isn't expected to issue its decision until next year.