Buckley v. Valeo | Study Guide

United States Supreme Court

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Course Hero. "Buckley v. Valeo Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Dec. 2019. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Buckley-v-Valeo/>.

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Course Hero. (2019, December 13). Buckley v. Valeo Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Buckley-v-Valeo/

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Course Hero. "Buckley v. Valeo Study Guide." December 13, 2019. Accessed September 22, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Buckley-v-Valeo/.


Course Hero, "Buckley v. Valeo Study Guide," December 13, 2019, accessed September 22, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Buckley-v-Valeo/.



United States Supreme Court

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Law, U.S. Supreme Court Case

At a Glance

  • In 1971 Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which set limits on campaign contributions by individuals, limited outside spending on behalf of candidates, and established the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
  • In 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Congress passed amendments to FECA to strengthen federal regulation of campaign finance.
  • In 1975 Senator James L. Buckley and others brought suit against the FEC and FEC member/Secretary of the Senate Francis Valeo, alleging that FECA was unconstitutional.
  • The case was heard in October 1975 and the Supreme Court issued their opinion on January 30, 1976.
  • The Supreme Court upheld limitations on campaign contributions and government funding of campaigns but overturned restrictions on personal candidate spending and outside spending on behalf of candidates on the grounds that money spent on political speech was protected by the 1st Amendment.
  • The Court also overturned congressional appointment of FEC commissioners.


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