WollBuckley v. Valeo 1976

Mann and Ornstein – Myths and Realities About The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002



Complete and print out this assignment and bring to class on the assigned due date.



Directions – answer the following in the space provided.


  1. Summarize the Supreme Court’s decision and reasoning in the Buckley v. Valeo case.












  1. According to Mann and Ornstein, many myths surround the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that conclude the law violates First Amendment freedoms of expression and association. The myths also predict the law will undermine the democratic process in other ways. In reality, however, the legislation is neither unconstitutional nor undemocratic but strengthens our freedoms and buttresses democracy. List the six things the BCRA of 2002 does not do according to the authors.














Directions – read each statement and list of answers.  Pick the best answer and circle that choice.



1. In Buckley v. Valeo, the Court:

a) decided that disclosure of campaign financing was unconstitutional.

b) ruled that the First Amendment does not apply to speech in campaigns.

c) found that senatorial and presidential campaigns cost about the same.

d) drew a distinction between campaign expenditures and contributions.


2. Under the Buckley decision, a candidate can spend how much of their personal funds?

a) $1,000

b) $25,000

c) as much as they want

d) none


3. Under Buckley, contributions to a specific candidate or campaign:

a) can be limited, because they are not protected speech.

b) cannot be limited.

c) must be matched by an equal contribution to the candidate's party.

d) are regulated by the state court system.


4. After reviewing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 the Supreme Court in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003):

a) struck down the law in its entirety.

b) declared some parts of the law to be unconstitutional but upheld most of the law’s provisions regulating

    campaign financing.

c) held that the First Amendment did not limit campaign finance regulation.

d) applied the First Amendment to campaign expenditures but not contributions.


5. In McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003), which Justice wrote “ This is a sad day for the freedom of speech. Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restrictions upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child

pornography…dissemination of illegally intercepted communications…and sexually explicit cable programming… would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government”?

a) Rehnquist

b) O’Connor

c) Scalia

d) Stevens


6. Spending on campaign finance has increased over the years because of:

a) inflation.

b) the growth of political offices.

c) increases in the size of government.

d) all of the above.


7. Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein essentially argue that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002:

a) violates First Amendment freedoms of speech and association.

b) weakens political parties.

c) is unnecessary.

d) is fully in conformity with the Constitution.