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That vote took place in in the ruling on Buckley v. The decision of the Court changed the course of American federal elections and established one of the roots of the Citizens United decision.
The Court upheld a federal law which set limits on campaign contributions, but ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech, and struck down portions of the law. The distribution of the humblest handbill or leaflet entails printing, paper, and circulation costs.
Speeches and rallies generally necessitate hiring a hall and publicizing the event. In Congress managed to override the veto of President Ford to pass significant amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act of Other key provisions of the law included: Appellees contend that what the Act regulates is conduct, and that its effect on speech and association is incidental, at most.
We know what the seven judges, who sided with the appellants in this case, believed: Is spending any amount of money a right though? If it is covered under the Constitution, it would have to be included in the 9th Amendment since no other Amendment mentions the right of spending money.
There are well-known and understood restrictions on the 1st Amendment.
We cannot incite armed rebellion. We cannot articulate advocacy or intention to assassinate an American president. We cannot engage in child pornography.
Why, then, did the Court not allow the restrictions on the spending of money in campaigns? Whether the spending of money is a right under the 9th Amendment or even if it is deemed a form of speech and therefore covered by the 1st Amendment, it is not unconstitutional for Congress to draw lines proscribing certain forms of speech if spending money is a form of speech and not conduct as the appellees argued.
Congress and state legislatures place limits on what may be purchased with money. We cannot buy fireworks in many states. We cannot purchase the services of a prostitute in most states. We do not have the right to acquire through any means schedule I drugs narcotics.
If spending money is a right under the 9th Amendment, it is well under the power of Congress to regulate that right since spending money is a manner of campaigning. If money is a form of speech and therefore protected by the 1st Amendment as they claimed, then why did not hold for everyone contributing to political campaigns?
They upheld restrictions on financial contributions that citizens can make to a campaign while throwing out restrictions on how much the candidates themselves can spend on their campaigns. Why should any right be applicable for some people and not others? This inconsistency was explained in the decision: A contribution serves as a general expression of support for the candidate and his views, but does not communicate the underlying basis for the support.
The quantity of communication by the contributor does not increase perceptibly with the size of his contribution, since the expression rests solely on the undifferentiated, symbolic act of contributing. While contributions may result in political expression if spent by a candidate or an association to present views to the voters, the transformation of contributions into political debate involves speech by someone other than the contributor.
Why did the Court allow unlimited amounts of money to be spent by candidates for federal office? This, too, is explained in the decision: The interests served by the Act include restricting the voices of people and interest groups who have money to spend and reducing the over-all scope of federal election campaigns.
Although the Act does not focus on the ideas expressed by persons or groups subject to its regulations, it is aimed in part at equalizing the relative ability of all voters to affect electoral outcomes by placing a ceiling on expenditures for political expression by citizens and groups.
As a brief side note, this decision, the legislative claim that money is a form of speech, is the first in a series of Court decisions where the SCOTUS legislated from the bench on matters they did not have the power to make culminating, but not stopping with the infamous Citizens United decision.
Starting with Buckley v Valeo, the Supreme Court has been usurping Congressional power to regulate the manner of elections. By making the false and unjust equivalency between money and speech a doctrine, the Court began regulating the manner of elections.Personal finance news and advice from initiativeblog.com Saving, spending, investing, retirement, careers, real estate, freebies, deals, tech, and healthcare.
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