Buckley v. Valeo

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In Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) (per curiam), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the power of Congress to limit campaign contributions but declared unconstitutional any limits on a candidate spending his own money on his own campaign.


On January 2, 1975, Senator James L. Buckley of New York, former Senator, 1968 presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, and others A lawsuit was filed in the District Court for the D.C. The defendant against Francis R. Valeo, the Secretary of the Senate and ex officio member of the Federal Election Commission who represented the U.S. federal government. The district court denied plaintiffs' request for declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiffs then appealed to the Court of Appeals.


One result of this decision has been a growing number of self-financed, wealthy politicians gaining election by spending their own money, including Jon Corzine, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Fitzgerald and Arnold Schwarzenegger.