The Supreme Court this week struck down, 5-4, the federal limit on aggregate campaign contributions that an individual can give to all candidates. The aggregate limit is currently set at $123,220 for all contributions to federal candidates and other political committees (PACs), with a $48,600 limit to federal candidates every two years and $74,600 to political parties and committees.  Those caps are now gone, meaning a donor can give to as many federal candidates as they want–and donate freely to political parties.

Reaction to the ruling breaks down along predictable lines, with those supporting campaign regulation castigating the Roberts court, while opponents of regulation hailing yet another in a string of recent victories, according to a Bloomberg BNA report.

The ruling relied on an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, which held that the First Amendment rights of donors who want to give more than the aggregate limit are violated by a candidate contribution cap, while the Democratic appointees dissented, arguing the caps guarded against corruption.  Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in his controlling opinion: “There is no right in our democracy more basic than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”

Roberts’ opinion said the court was leaving intact the “base limits” on individual contributions to each candidate, political party, and traditional political action committees.  The individual contribution limit to a candidate currently is set at $2,600 per candidate per election, or $5,200 per election cycle.

The Supreme Court did not consider base-limit contributions. That means a donor can still only give $2,600 to a candidate in primary and general elections. But in his dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote: “If the court in Citizens United opened a door, today’s decision may well open a floodgate.” Democrats, including the White House, denounced the decision, too.

The ruling results in the fact that political parties can fundraise just as much money as super PACs and other outside political groups. The Supreme Court struck down campaign caps for corporations and unions in the 2010 Citizens United case.