Buckley v. Valeo

424 U.S. 1 (1976)


Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1971. Section 608(b)(1) imposed a $1,000 limitation on individual contributions to a single candidate. Section 608(b)(2) imposed a $5,000 limitation on contributions to a single candidate by political committees. Section 608(b)(3) imposed a $25,000 limitation on total contributions by any individual in one year to political candidates. Section 608(e)(1) imposed a $1,000 ceiling in expenditures relative to a known candidate. Section 608 (a) and (c) imposed similar ceilings on expenditures by the candidate and his family, and overall campaign expenditures. Congress also required candidates to disclose all contributions greater than $10, and all individuals to disclose contributions and expenditures that totaled over $1,000. In a separate action, Congress provided for federal financing of presidential elections. Senator Buckley (P) and other candidates brought suit against Valeo (D) and other federal officials to have the Act's disclosure requirements found unconstitutional due to the violation of their First Amendment right of freedom of association. The court of appeals upheld the Act. P appealed.