Campaign Finance Reform Case Study

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Due to the increased prevalence of claims that corporations in the United States are buying and selling politicians through campaign donations, the Supreme Court has been forced to address campaign finance and campaign finance reform in the last several decades. Most people are aware of the highly controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling of 2010. However, the Supreme Court has handed down other important decisions that impact campaign finance, whether at the state or federal level, including Buckley v. Valeo (1976), McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003), and several others. In most of these cases, the Supreme Court ascertained whether campaign spending and donations violated the Federal Election Campaign …show more content…

They also sued the clerk of the House of Representatives and others. In the suit, the petitioners claimed significant parts of the law violated Article II, Section II, Clause II, as well as the First and Fifth Amendments. When the majority of Buckley’s claims were denied by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, he appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was tasked with deciding whether the Federal Election Campaign Act did indeed violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech—particularly, the Court had to analyze the controversial limits on campaign expenditures and contributions. Having decided on several factors surrounding the legislation, the Supreme Court decided on two significant components. They ruled that the restrictions regarding campaign contributions, as implemented in FECA, did not amount to a violation of free speech. However, they also found that the limitations placed on candidates regarding the use of funds from their personal resources did, in fact, violate the First Amendment, and the government should not limit free speech in this

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