The limits of campaign spending limits
POLITICAL indignation engenders constitutional excess. Such was the case in 1974 when Congress, hot with anger over Watergate, delivered a beating to First Amendment rights with a set of new provisions to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). The original 1971 act had already set limits on how much of his own money a federal candidate could spend on his own campaign. The new provisions limited how much that campaign as a whole could spend as well as how much any individual or organization working independently to promote a candidate could spend. But, in the 1976 case of Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court declared each of these limits on campaign spending unconstitutional.