FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION v. NCPAC

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
83-1032
Appellee 
NCPAC
Appellant 
Federal Election Commission
Consolidation 
No. 83-1122
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the Federal Election Commission)
(Argued the cause for the appellants)
(Argued the cause for the Democratic Party of the United States)
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Facts of the Case 

In 1975, the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) was accused by both the Democratic Party of the United States and the Federal Election Commission of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act. The Act stipulated that independent political action committees could not spend more than $1,000 to support the election of a presidential candidate. This case was decided together with Democratic Party v. NCPAC.

Question 

Did the law violate the NCPAC's First Amendment rights of free speech and association?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for NCPAC, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly

Yes. The Court held that the expenditures prohibited by the Federal Election Campaign Act were "at the core of the First Amendment" and could not be restricted by the government. The Court rejected the notion that the PACs' form of organization diminished their entitlement to First Amendment protection. The Court drew a distinction between contributions to candidates-- which were open to corruption--and contributions to independent organizations in support of candidates.

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FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION v. NCPAC. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1984/1984_83_1032>.
FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION v. NCPAC, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1984/1984_83_1032 (last visited September 10, 2014).
"FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION v. NCPAC," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1984/1984_83_1032.