Regulating Political Activity: Notes on a Hypothetical Statute to Regulate Presidential Primary and General Election Campaigns
Journal of Law & Politics, Vol. 8, p. 259, 1992
12 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2009
Date Written: 1992
This symposium on presidential campaigns and election law is both timely and significant. Timely because we meet as the 1992 federal election campaign season is about to get underway, and significant because it addresses two issues that lie at the heart of the Federal Election Campaign Act ("the Act").' These issues are the extent to which the government may, consistent with the first amendment, impose (1) direct limitations on communications by candidates to the voters, and (2) "non-voluntary" limits on expenditures by candidate campaign committees. This essay is not, nor is it intended to be, an exhaustive analysis of the constitutional and other legal issues raised by the various provisions of the Act. These issues are discussed below in the context of an analysis of a proposed, hypothetical statute, S. 100, "The Reform of Presidential Elections Act of 1993." S. 100 does address real problems with the campaign process that have been identified by commentators over the years. The question is whether this statute in particular, and federal legislation generally, is indeed the best or proper vehicle with which to address these concerns. This question can best be answered through a section-by-section analysis of the bill.
Keywords: Federal Election Campaign Act, voters, candidates
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