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Federal Election Commission v. National Conservative Political Action Committee - Significance, Political Contributions, Extensive Spending, Unconstitutional Political Spending Limitations, No Right To Spend

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988

Appellant

Federal Election Commission

Appellee

National Conservative Political Action Committee et al.

Appellant's Claim

That the National Conservative Political Action Committee violated the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act by exceeding the $1,000 spending limit to support the election of a presidential candidate.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Charles N. Steele

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Robert R. Sparks, Jr.

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), John Paul Stevens

Justices Dissenting

Thurgood Marshall, Byron R. White

Place

Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

18 March 1985

Decision

Upheld district court finding that expenditures prohibited by the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act were protected by the First Amendment and could not be restricted by the government.

Related Cases

  • Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
  • First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978).
  • Federal Election Commission v. National Right to Work Committee, 459 U.S. 197 (1982).
  • Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990).
  • Federal Election Commission v. National Rifle Association Victory Fund, (1994).

Sources

Clawson, Dan, Alan Neustadtl, and Mark Weller, Dollars and Votes: How Business Campaign Contributions Subvert Democracy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.

Clawson, Dan, Alan Neustadtl, and Mark Weller, Money Talks: Corporate PACs and Political Influence. New York: BasicBooks, 1992.

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