Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The Supreme Court's decision in Buckley v. Valeo' undoubtedly will be the forerunner of many future decisions dealing with the complex area of political campaign finance and thus will exert a profound influence on the structure of American politics. From a broader perspective, the decision significantly applies fundamental constitutional law doctrines concerning the first amendment and separation of powers. Accordingly, a clear understanding of what the Court did and did not do in Buckley is essential to any further legislative or judicial initiatives in the regulation of political activity. This article will examine the Court's holdings in Buckley, describe the congressional response thereto, and attempt to analyze the potential constitutional effects of the decision and the legislation that followed it, with emphasis on issues left unresolved by the Court.