McConnell V. Federal Election Commission

On December 10, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) upheld by a 5–4 decision most of the provisions of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) against constitutional challenges. In so doing, it purported to apply the constitutional framework of analysis that had been handed down in its 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo, but in fact reached results arguably quite different from those in Buckley.

The progression of the court's constitutional analysis from Buckley to McConnell, and more recently in Randall v. Sorrell in 2006 and Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (WRTL) in 2007, reflects a sort of doctrinal incoherence whose development is not yet complete. Future decisions of the court may clarify the ...

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