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Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution: A Critical Look at Buckley v. Valeo

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Publication Date: January 1998

Publisher(s): Brennan Center for Justice

Author(s): Burt Neuborne

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation

Topic: Politics (Campaigns, lobbying, and pressure groups)

Keywords: Voting Rights & Elections; Campaign Finance Reform; Democracy

Type: Report


Discussion about reform of the campaign finance process begins, and often ends, with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976). Since, reasoned the Buckley Court, most campaign speech requires the spending of money, any attempt to limit campaign spending must be analyzed, for constitutional purposes, as if it were an effort to limit political speech itself.