Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), 116 Stat. 81, also known as the Shays-Meehan or McCain-Feingold Bill, after some of its congressional sponsors, was the first major amendment of the earlier Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) since the extensive 1974 amendments that followed the Watergate scandal. The legislative scheme of the 1974 Amendments to FECA had been substantially altered by the Supreme Court's decision in Buckley v. Valeo, which, in 1976, struck down several provisions of the 1974 Amendments limiting campaign finance expenditures as violations of the First Amendment's protections of freedom of speech and freedom of association. The constitutional frame-work established in Buckley v. Valeo allowed contributions to be limited, but expenditures (including political advertising) were not limited in order ...

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