Today the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Republican National Committee and removed the limit on the amount of money a citizen can spend on federal candidates and committees supporting their campaigns.

The decision was made along predictable, political lines, with the Justices who go on junkets paid for by Republicans and whose wives openly support (and financially benefit from) Tea Party ideology ruling that “the government may not penalize an individual for robustly exercising his First Amendment rights."

Scotusblog reports that the ruling leaves the cap on individual donations to a specific candidate, national party committee, and PAC alone—$2,600 per election, $34,000 per year, and $5,000 per year, respectively. Chief Justice Roberts wrote in today's majority opinion that these aggregate limits “have the effect of restricting how many candidates or committees the donor may support, to the extent permitted by the base limits.”

Let Ronald Reagan's former Solicitor General explain why the majority's assurance is facile nonsense:

If the court were to strike down aggregate limits, then a contributor could give money up to the maximum amount not only to every federal candidate but also to any political action committee that contributed to a candidate. And as a lower federal court recognized, there is no limit on how many PACs might be created that are likely to contribute to a particular candidate.

If there were 10,000 PACs, all of which were likely to contribute to John Smith for Congress, then by...the R.N.C.’s reasoning you should be free to give up to the maximum of $5,000 to each PAC, for a total of $50 million. This would blow an enormous hole in the longstanding, court-approved scheme of campaign contribution limits.

Say you are a donor named, oh, say, David Koch, who is worth $31 billion. There are 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats up for grabs this fall. Koch could give $1,216,800 total to one set of candidates alone (95% of the candidates the Kochs donate to are Republicans). According to Democracy 21, Koch could give more than $3,000,000 to joint fundraising committees supporting federal candidates. And then there are the PACs, mentioned above. And of course, the Super PACs, for which there is no limit.

David has a brother named Charles. Charles is also worth $31 billion.

The Times points out that the ruling might actually make political donations more transparent, given that donors can now contribute more through channels that traditionally have more scrutiny. This much is certain: the top 0.01% of American earners have four times as much to spend as they did in 1960.