These appeals present constitutional challenges to the key provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (Act), and related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, all as amended in 1974.
This suit was originally filed by appellants in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs included a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, a United States Senator who is a candidate for re-election, a potential contributor, the
Jurisdiction was asserted under 28 U. S. C. §§ 1331, 2201, and 2202, and § 315 (a) of the Act, 2 U. S. C. § 437h (a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV).
On plenary review, a majority of the Court of Appeals rejected, for the most part, appellants' constitutional attacks. The court found "a clear and compelling interest," 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 192, 519 F. 2d, at 841, in preserving the integrity of the electoral process. On that basis, the court upheld, with one exception,
In this Court, appellants argue that the Court of Appeals failed to give this legislation the critical scrutiny demanded under accepted First Amendment and equal protection principles. In appellants' view, limiting the use of money for political purposes constitutes a restriction on communication violative of the First Amendment, since virtually all meaningful political communications in the modern setting involve the expenditure of money. Further, they argue that the reporting and disclosure provisions of the Act unconstitutionally impinge on their right to freedom of association. Appellants also view the federal subsidy provisions of Subtitle H as violative of the General Welfare Clause, and as inconsistent with the First and Fifth Amendments. Finally, appellants renew their attack on the Commission's composition and powers.
At the outset we must determine whether the case before us presents a "case or controversy" within the meaning of Art. III of the Constitution. Congress may not, of course, require this Court to render opinions in matters which are not "cases or controversies." Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227, 240-241 (1937). We must therefore decide whether appellants have the "personal stake in the outcome of the controversy" necessary to meet the requirements of Art. III. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204 (1962). It is clear that Congress, in enacting
I. CONTRIBUTION AND EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS
The intricate statutory scheme adopted by Congress to regulate federal election campaigns includes restrictions
The constitutional power of Congress to regulate federal elections is well established and is not questioned by any of the parties in this case.
A. General Principles
The Act's contribution and expenditure limitations operate in an area of the most fundamental First Amendment activities. Discussion of public issues and debate on the qualifications of candidates are integral to the operation of the system of government established by our Constitution. The First Amendment affords the broadest protection to such political expression in order "to assure [the] unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people." Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, 484 (1957). Although First Amendment protections are not confined to "the exposition of ideas," Winters v. New York, 333 U.S. 507, 510 (1948), "there is practically universal agreement that a major purpose of that Amendment was to protect the free discussion of governmental affairs, . . . of course includ[ing] discussions of candidates. . . ." Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218 (1966). This no more than reflects our "profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open," New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964). In a republic where the people are sovereign, the ability of the citizenry to make informed choices among candidates
The First Amendment protects political association as well as political expression. The constitutional right of association explicated in NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 460 (1958), stemmed from the Court's recognition that "[e]ffective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association." Subsequent decisions have made clear that the First and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee " `freedom to associate with others for the common advancement of political beliefs and ideas,' " a freedom that encompasses " `[t]he right to associate with the political party of one's choice.' " Kusper v. Pontikes, 414 U.S. 51, 56, 57 (1973), quoted in Cousins v. Wigoda, 419 U.S. 477, 487 (1975).
It is with these principles in mind that we consider the primary contentions of the parties with respect to the Act's limitations upon the giving and spending of money in political campaigns. Those conflicting contentions could not more sharply define the basic issues before us. Appellees contend that what the Act regulates is conduct, and that its effect on speech and association is incidental at most. Appellants respond that contributions and expenditures are at the very core of political speech, and that the Act's limitations thus constitute restraints on First Amendment liberty that are both gross and direct.
In upholding the constitutional validity of the Act's contribution and expenditure provisions on the ground
We cannot share the view that the present Act's contribution and expenditure limitations are comparable to the restrictions on conduct upheld in O'Brien. The expenditure of money simply cannot be equated with such conduct as destruction of a draft card. Some forms of communication made possible by the giving and spending of money involve speech alone, some involve conduct primarily, and some involve a combination of the two. Yet this Court has never suggested that the dependence of a communication on the expenditure of money operates itself to introduce a non speech element or to reduce the exacting scrutiny required by the First Amendment. See Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809,
Even if the categorization of the expenditure of money as conduct were accepted, the limitations challenged here would not meet the O'Brien test because the governmental interests advanced in support of the Act involve "suppressing communication." The interests served by the Act include restricting the voices of people and interest groups who have money to spend and reducing the overall scope of federal election campaigns. Although the Act does not focus on the ideas expressed by persons or groups subject to its regulations, it is aimed in part at equalizing the relative ability of all voters to affect electoral outcomes by placing a ceiling on expenditures for political expression by citizens and groups. Unlike O'Brien, where the Selective Service System's administrative interest in the preservation of draft cards was wholly unrelated to their use as a means of communication, it is beyond dispute that the interest in regulating the alleged "conduct" of giving or spending money "arises in some measure because the communication allegedly integral to the conduct is itself thought to be harmful." 391 U. S., at 382.
Nor can the Act's contribution and expenditure limitations be sustained, as some of the parties suggest, by reference to the constitutional principles reflected in such
The expenditure limitations contained in the Act represent substantial rather than merely theoretical restraints on the quantity and diversity of political speech. The $1,000 ceiling on spending "relative to a clearly identified candidate," 18 U. S. C. § 608 (e) (1) (1970 ed., Supp. IV), would appear to exclude all citizens and groups except candidates, political parties, and the institutional press
By contrast with a limitation upon expenditures for political expression, a limitation upon the amount that any one person or group may contribute to a candidate or political committee entails only a marginal restriction upon the contributor's ability to engage in free communication.
Given the important role of contributions in financing political campaigns, contribution restrictions could have a severe impact on political dialogue if the limitations prevented candidates and political committees from amassing the resources necessary for effective advocacy. There is no indication, however, that the contribution limitations imposed by the Act would have any dramatic adverse effect on the funding of campaigns and political associations.
The Act's contribution and expenditure limitations also impinge on protected associational freedoms. Making a contribution, like joining a political party, serves to affiliate a person with a candidate. In addition, it enables like-minded persons to pool their resources in furtherance of common political goals. The Act's contribution ceilings thus limit one important means of associating with a candidate or committee, but leave the contributor free to become a member of any political association and to assist personally in the association's efforts on behalf of candidates. And the Act's contribution limitations permit associations and candidates to aggregate large sums of money to promote effective advocacy. By contrast, the Act's $1,000 limitation on independent expenditures "relative to a clearly identified candidate" precludes most associations from effectively amplifying the voice of their adherents, the original basis for the recognition of First Amendment protection of the freedom of association. See NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U. S., at 460. The Act's constraints on the ability of independent associations and candidate campaign organizations to expend resources on political expression "is simultaneously an interference with the freedom of [their] adherents," Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234, 250 (1957) (plurality opinion). See Cousins v.
In sum, although the Act's contribution and expenditure limitations both implicate fundamental First Amendment interests, its expenditure ceilings impose significantly more severe restrictions on protected freedoms of political expression and association than do its limitations on financial contributions.
B. Contribution Limitations
1. The $1,000 Limitation on Contributions by Individuals and Groups to Candidates and Authorized Campaign Committees
Section 608 (b) provides, with certain limited exceptions, that "no person shall make contributions to any candidate with respect to any election for Federal office which, in the aggregate, exceed $1,000." The statute defines "person" broadly to include "an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation or any other organization or group of persons." § 591 (g). The limitation reaches a gift, subscription, loan, advance, deposit of anything of value, or promise to give a contribution, made for the purpose of influencing a primary election, a Presidential preference primary, or a general election for any federal office.
Appellants contend that the $1,000 contribution ceiling unjustifiably burdens First Amendment freedoms, employs overbroad dollar limits, and discriminates against candidates opposing incumbent officeholders and against minor-party candidates in violation of the Fifth Amendment. We address each of these claims of invalidity in turn.
As the general discussion in Part I-A, supra, indicated, the primary First Amendment problem raised by the Act's contribution limitations is their restriction of one aspect of the contributor's freedom of political association.
Appellees argue that the Act's restrictions on large campaign contributions are justified by three governmental interests. According to the parties and amici, the primary interest served by the limitations and, indeed, by the Act as a whole, is the prevention of corruption and the appearance of corruption spawned by the real or imagined coercive influence of large financial contributions on candidates' positions and on their actions if elected to office. Two "ancillary" interests underlying the Act are also allegedly furthered by the $1,000 limits on contributions. First, the limits serve to mute the voices of affluent persons and groups in the election
It is unnecessary to look beyond the Act's primary purpose—to limit the actuality and appearance of corruption resulting from large individual financial contributions —in order to find a constitutionally sufficient justification for the $1,000 contribution limitation. Under a system of private financing of elections, a candidate lacking immense personal or family wealth must depend on financial contributions from others to provide the resources necessary to conduct a successful campaign. The increasing importance of the communications media and sophisticated mass-mailing and polling operations to effective campaigning make the raising of large sums of money an ever more essential ingredient of an effective candidacy. To the extent that large contributions are given to secure a political quid pro quo from current and potential office holders, the integrity of our system of
Of almost equal concern as the danger of actual quid pro quo arrangements is the impact of the appearance of corruption stemming from public awareness of the opportunities for abuse inherent in a regime of large individual financial contributions. In CSC v. Letter Carriers, supra, the Court found that the danger to "fair and effective government" posed by partisan political conduct on the part of federal employees charged with administering the law was a sufficiently important concern to justify broad restrictions on the employees' right of partisan political association. Here, as there, Congress could legitimately conclude that the avoidance of the appearance of improper influence "is also critical . . . if confidence in the system of representative Government is not to be eroded to a disastrous extent." 413 U. S., at 565.
Appellants contend that the contribution limitations must be invalidated because bribery laws and narrowly drawn disclosure requirements constitute a less restrictive means of dealing with "proven and suspected quid pro quo arrangements." But laws making criminal
The Act's $1,000 contribution limitation focuses precisely on the problem of large campaign contributions— the narrow aspect of political association where the actuality and potential for corruption have been identified —while leaving persons free to engage in independent political expression, to associate actively through volunteering their services, and to assist to a limited but nonetheless substantial extent in supporting candidates and committees with financial resources.
We find that, under the rigorous standard of review established by our prior decisions, the weighty interests served by restricting the size of financial contributions to political candidates are sufficient to justify the limited effect upon First Amendment freedoms caused by the $1,000 contribution ceiling.
Appellants' first overbreadth challenge to the contribution ceilings rests on the proposition that most large contributors do not seek improper influence over a candidate's position or an officeholder's action. Although the truth of that proposition may be assumed, it does not
A second, related overbreadth claim is that the $1,000 restriction is unrealistically low because much more than that amount would still not be enough to enable an unscrupulous contributor to exercise improper influence over a candidate or officeholder, especially in campaigns for statewide or national office. While the contribution limitation provisions might well have been structured to take account of the graduated expenditure limitations for congressional and Presidential campaigns,
Apart from these First Amendment concerns, appellants argue that the contribution limitations work such an invidious discrimination between incumbents
The charge of discrimination against minor-party and independent candidates is more troubling, but the record provides no basis for concluding that the Act invidiously disadvantages such candidates. As noted above, the Act on its face treats all candidates equally with regard to contribution limitations. And the restriction would appear to benefit minor-party and independent candidates relative to their major-party opponents because major-party candidates receive far more money in large contributions.
In view of these considerations, we conclude that the impact of the Act's $1,000 contribution limitation on major-party challengers and on minor-party candidates does not render the provision unconstitutional on its face.
2. The $5,000 Limitation on Contributions by Political Committees
Section 608 (b) (2) permits certain committees, designated as "political committees," to contribute up to $5,000 to any candidate with respect to any election for federal office. In order to qualify for the higher contribution ceiling, a group must have been registered with the Commission as a political committee under 2 U. S. C. § 433 (1970 ed., Supp. IV) for not less than six months, have received contributions from more than 50 persons, and, except for state political party organizations, have contributed to five or more candidates for federal office. Appellants argue that these qualifications unconstitutionally discriminate against ad hoc organizations in favor of established interest groups and impermissibly burden free association. The argument is without merit. Rather than undermining freedom of association, the basic provision enhances the opportunity of bona fide groups to participate in the election process, and the registration, contribution, and candidate conditions serve the permissible purpose of preventing individuals
3. Limitations on Volunteers' Incidental Expenses
The Act excludes from the definition of contribution "the value of services provided without compensation by individuals who volunteer a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee." § 591 (e) (5) (A). Certain expenses incurred by persons in providing volunteer services to a candidate are exempt from the $1,000 ceiling only to the extent that they do not exceed $500. These expenses are expressly limited to (1) "the use of real or personal property and the cost of invitations, food, and beverages, voluntarily provided by an individual to a candidate in rendering voluntary personal services on the individual's residential premises for candidate-related activities." § 591 (e) (5) (B); (2) "the sale of any food or beverage by a vendor for use in a candidate's campaign at a charge [at least equal to cost but] less than the normal comparable charge," § 591 (e) (5) (C); and (3) "any unreimbursed payment for travel expenses made by an individual who on his own behalf volunteers his personal services to a candidate," § 591 (e) (5) (D).
If, as we have held, the basic contribution limitations are constitutionally valid, then surely these provisions are a constitutionally acceptable accommodation of Congress' valid interest in encouraging citizen participation in political campaigns while continuing to guard against the corrupting potential of large financial contributions to candidates. The expenditure of resources at the candidate's direction for a fundraising event at a volunteer's residence or the provision of in-kind assistance in the form of food or beverages to be resold to raise funds or consumed by the participants in such an event provides material financial assistance to a candidate. The ultimate
In addition to the $1,000 limitation on the nonexempt contributions that an individual may make to a particular candidate for any single election, the Act contains an overall $25,000 limitation on total contributions by an individual during any calendar year. § 608 (b) (3). A contribution made in connection with an election is considered, for purposes of this subsection, to be made in the year the election is held. Although the constitutionality of this provision was drawn into question by appellants, it has not been separately addressed at length by the parties. The overall $25,000 ceiling does impose an ultimate restriction upon the number of candidates and committees with which an individual may associate himself by means of financial support. But this quite modest restraint upon protected political activity serves to prevent evasion of the $1,000 contribution limitation by a person who might otherwise contribute massive amounts of money to a particular candidate through the use of unearmarked contributions to political committees likely to contribute to that candidate, or huge contributions to the candidate's political party. The limited, additional restriction on associational freedom imposed by the overall ceiling is thus no more than a corollary of the basic individual contribution limitation that we have found to be constitutionally valid.
C. Expenditure Limitations
The Act's expenditure ceilings impose direct and substantial restraints on the quantity of political speech. The most drastic of the limitations restricts individuals and groups, including political parties that fail to place a candidate on the ballot,
1. The $1,000 Limitation on Expenditures "Relative to a Clearly Identified Candidate"
Section 608 (e) (1) provides that "[n]o person may make any expenditure . . . relative to a clearly identified candidate during a calendar year which, when added to all other expenditures made by such person during the year advocating the election or defeat of such candidate, exceeds $1,000."
Before examining the interests advanced in support of § 608 (e) (1)'s expenditure ceiling, consideration must be given to appellants' contention that the provision is unconstitutionally vague.
The key operative language of the provision limits "any expenditure . . . relative to a clearly identified candidate." Although "expenditure," "clearly identified," and "candidate" are defined in the Act, there is no definition clarifying what expenditures are "relative to" a candidate. The use of so indefinite a phrase as "relative to" a candidate fails to clearly mark the boundary between permissible and impermissible speech, unless other portions of § 608 (e) (1) make sufficiently explicit the range of expenditures
But while such a construction of § 608 (e) (1) refocuses the vagueness question, the Court of Appeals was mistaken in thinking that this construction eliminates the problem of unconstitutional vagueness altogether. 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 204, 519 F. 2d, at 853. For the distinction between discussion of issues and candidates and advocacy of election or defeat of candidates may often dissolve in practical application. Candidates, especially incumbents, are intimately tied to public issues involving legislative proposals and governmental actions. Not only do candidates campaign on the basis of their positions on various public issues, but campaigns themselves generate issues of public interest.
The constitutional deficiencies described in Thomas v. Collins can be avoided only by reading § 608 (e) (1) as limited to communications that include explicit words of advocacy of election or defeat of a candidate, much as the definition of "clearly identified" in § 608 (e) (2) requires that an explicit and unambiguous reference to the candidate appear as part of the communication.
We turn then to the basic First Amendment question —whether § 608 (e) (1), even as thus narrowly and explicitly construed, impermissibly burdens the constitutional right of free expression. The Court of Appeals summarily held the provision constitutionally valid on the ground that "section 608 (e) is a loophole-closing provision only" that is necessary to prevent circumvention of the contribution limitations. 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 204, 519 F. 2d, at 853. We cannot agree.
The discussion in Part I-A, supra, explains why the Act's expenditure limitations impose far greater restraints on the freedom of speech and association than do its contribution limitations. The markedly greater burden on basic freedoms caused by § 608 (e) (1) thus cannot be sustained simply by invoking the interest in maximizing the effectiveness of the less intrusive contribution limitations. Rather, the constitutionality of § 608 (e) (1) turns on whether the governmental interests advanced in its support satisfy the exacting scrutiny applicable to limitations
We find that the governmental interest in preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption is inadequate to justify § 608 (e) (1)'s ceiling on independent expenditures. First, assuming, arguendo, that large independent expenditures pose the same dangers of actual or apparent quid pro quo arrangements as do large contributions, § 608 (e) (1) does not provide an answer that sufficiently relates to the elimination of those dangers. Unlike the contribution limitations' total ban on the giving of large amounts of money to candidates, § 608 (e) (1) prevents only some large expenditures. So long as persons and groups eschew expenditures that in express terms advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, they are free to spend as much as they want to promote the candidate and his views. The exacting interpretation of the statutory language necessary to avoid unconstitutional vagueness thus undermines the limitation's effectiveness as a loophole-closing provision by facilitating circumvention by those seeking to exert improper influence upon a candidate or office-holder. It would naively underestimate the ingenuity and resourcefulness of persons and groups desiring to buy influence to believe that they would have much difficulty devising expenditures that skirted the restriction on express advocacy of election or defeat but nevertheless benefited the candidate's campaign. Yet no substantial societal interest would be served by a loophole-closing provision designed to check corruption that permitted unscrupulous persons and organizations to expend unlimited sums of money in order to obtain improper influence over candidates for elective office. Cf. Mills v. Alabama, 384 U. S., at 220.
Second, quite apart from the shortcomings of § 608 (e)
While the independent expenditure ceiling thus fails to serve any substantial governmental interest in stemming
It is argued, however, that the ancillary governmental interest in equalizing the relative ability of individuals and groups to influence the outcome of elections serves to justify the limitation on express advocacy of the election or defeat of candidates imposed by § 608 (e) (1)'s expenditure ceiling. But the concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our society in
For the reasons stated, we conclude that § 608 (e) (1)'s independent expenditure limitation is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
2. Limitation on Expenditures by Candidates from Personal or Family Resources
The Act also sets limits on expenditures by a candidate "from his personal funds, or the personal funds of his immediate family, in connection with his campaigns during any calendar year." § 608 (a) (1). These ceilings vary from $50,000 for Presidential or Vice Presidential candidates to $35,000 for senatorial candidates, and $25,000 for most candidates for the House of Representatives.
The primary governmental interest served by the Act— the prevention of actual and apparent corruption of the political process—does not support the limitation on the candidate's expenditure of his own personal funds. As the Court of Appeals concluded: "Manifestly, the core problem of avoiding undisclosed and undue influence on candidates from outside interests has lesser application when the monies involved come from the candidate himself or from his immediate family." 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 206, 519 F. 2d, at 855. Indeed, the use of personal funds reduces the candidate's dependence on outside contributions and thereby counteracts the coercive pressures and attendant risks of abuse to which the Act's contribution limitations are directed.
3. Limitations on Campaign Expenditures
Section 608 (c) places limitations on overall campaign expenditures by candidates seeking nomination for election and election to federal office.
No governmental interest that has been suggested is sufficient to justify the restriction on the quantity of political expression imposed by § 608 (c)'s campaign expenditure limitations. The major evil associated with rapidly increasing campaign expenditures is the danger of candidate dependence on large contributions. The interest in alleviating the corrupting influence of large contributions is served by the Act's contribution limitations and disclosure provisions rather than by § 608 (c)'s campaign expenditure ceilings. The Court of Appeals' assertion that the expenditure restrictions are necessary to reduce the incentive to circumvent direct contribution limits is not persuasive. See 171 U. S.
The interest in equalizing the financial resources of candidates competing for federal office is no more convincing a justification for restricting the scope of federal election campaigns. Given the limitation on the size of outside contributions, the financial resources available to a candidate's campaign, like the number of volunteers recruited, will normally vary with the size and intensity of the candidate's support.
The campaign expenditure ceilings appear to be designed primarily to serve the governmental interests in reducing the allegedly skyrocketing costs of political campaigns. Appellees and the Court of Appeals stressed statistics indicating that spending for federal election campaigns increased almost 300% between 1952 and 1972 in comparison with a 57.6% rise in the consumer price index during the same period. Appellants respond that during these years the rise in campaign spending lagged behind the percentage increase in total expenditures for commercial advertising and the size of the gross national product. In any event, the mere growth in the cost of federal election campaigns in and of itself provides no basis for governmental restrictions on the quantity of campaign spending and the resulting limitation on the scope of federal campaigns. The First Amendment denies government the power to determine that spending to promote one's political views is wasteful, excessive, or unwise. In the free society ordained by our Constitution it is not the government, but the people—individually as citizens and candidates and collectively as associations and political committees—who must retain control over the quantity and range of debate on public issues in a political campaign.
In sum, the provisions of the Act that impose a $1,000 limitation on contributions to a single candidate, § 608 (b) (1), a $5,000 limitation on contributions by a political committee to a single candidate, § 608 (b) (2), and a $25,000 limitation on total contributions by an individual during any calendar year, § 608 (b) (3), are constitutionally valid. These limitations, along with the disclosure provisions, constitute the Act's primary weapons against the reality or appearance of improper influence stemming from the dependence of candidates on large campaign contributions. The contribution ceilings thus serve the basic governmental interest in safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process without directly impinging upon the rights of individual citizens and candidates to engage in political debate and discussion. By contrast, the First Amendment requires the invalidation of the Act's independent expenditure ceiling, § 608 (e) (1), its limitation on a candidate's expenditures from his own personal funds, § 608 (a), and its ceilings on overall campaign expenditures, § 608 (c). These provisions place substantial and direct restrictions
II. REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
Unlike the limitations on contributions and expenditures imposed by 18 U. S. C. § 608 (1970 ed., Supp. IV), the disclosure requirements of the Act, 2 U. S. C. § 431 et seq. (1970 ed., Supp. IV),
The first federal disclosure law was enacted in 1910. Act of June 25, 1910, c. 392, 36 Stat. 822. It required political committees, defined as national committees and national congressional campaign committees of parties, and organizations operating to influence congressional elections in two or more States, to disclose names of all contributors of $100 or more; identification of recipients of expenditures of $10 or more was also required. §§ 1, 5-6, 36 Stat. 822 824. Annual expenditures of $50 or more "for the purpose of influencing or controlling, in two or more States, the result of" a congressional election had to be reported independently if they were not made through a political committee. § 7, 36 Stat. 824. In 1911 the Act was revised to include prenomination transactions such as those involved in conventions and primary campaigns. Act of Aug. 19, 1911, § 2, 37 Stat. 26. See United States v. Auto. Workers, 352 U. S., at 575-576.
Disclosure requirements were broadened in the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1925 (Title III of the Act of Feb. 28, 1925), 43 Stat. 1070. That Act required political committees, defined as organizations that accept contributions or make expenditures "for the purpose of
The Act presently under review replaced all prior disclosure laws. Its primary disclosure provisions impose reporting obligations on "political committees" and candidates. "Political committee" is defined in § 431 (d) as a group of persons that receives "contributions" or makes "expenditures" of over $1,000 in a calendar year. "Contributions" and "expenditures" are defined in lengthy parallel provisions similar to those in Title 18, discussed
Each political committee is required to register with the Commission, § 433, and to keep detailed records of both contributions and expenditures, §§ 432 (c), (d). These records must include the name and address of everyone making a contribution in excess of $10, along with the date and amount of the contribution. If a person's contributions aggregate more than $100, his occupation and principal place of business are also to be included. § 432 (c) (2). These files are subject to periodic audits and field investigations by the Commission. § 438 (a) (8).
Each committee and each candidate also is required to file quarterly reports. § 434 (a). The reports are to contain detailed financial information, including the full name, mailing address, occupation, and principal place of business of each person who has contributed over $100 in a calendar year, as well as the amount and date of the contributions. § 434 (b). They are to be made available by the Commission "for public inspection and copying." § 438 (a) (4). Every candidate for federal office is required to designate a "principal campaign committee," which is to receive reports of contributions and expenditures made on the candidate's behalf from other political committees and to compile and file these reports, together with its own statements, with the Commission. § 432 (f).
Every individual or group, other than a political committee or candidate, who makes "contributions" or "expenditures" of over $100 in a calendar year "other than
A. General Principles
Unlike the overall limitations on contributions and expenditures, the disclosure requirements impose no ceiling on campaign-related activities. But we have repeatedly found that compelled disclosure, in itself, can seriously infringe on privacy of association and belief guaranteed by the First Amendment. E. g., Gibson v. Florida Legislative Comm., 372 U.S. 539 (1963); NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963); Shelton v. Tucker, 364 U.S. 479 (1960); Bates v. Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516 (1960); NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958).
We long have recognized that significant encroachments on First Amendment rights of the sort that compelled disclosure imposes cannot be justified by a mere showing of some legitimate governmental interest. Since NAACP v. Alabama we have required that the subordinating interests of the State must survive exacting scrutiny.
Appellees argue that the disclosure requirements of the Act differ significantly from those at issue in NAACP v. Alabama and its progeny because the Act only requires disclosure of the names of contributors and does not compel political organizations to submit the names of their members.
As we have seen, group association is protected because it enhances "[e]ffective advocacy." NAACP v. Alabama, supra, at 460. The right to join together "for the advancement of beliefs and ideas," ibid., is diluted if it does not include the right to pool money through contributions, for funds are often essential if "advocacy" is
The strict test established by NAACP v. Alabama is necessary because compelled disclosure has the potential for substantially infringing the exercise of First Amendment rights. But we have acknowledged that there are governmental interests sufficiently important to outweigh the possibility of infringement, particularly when the "free functioning of our national institutions" is involved. Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Bd., 367 U.S. 1, 97 (1961).
The governmental interests sought to be vindicated by the disclosure requirements are of this magnitude. They fall into three categories. First, disclosure provides the electorate with information "as to where political campaign money comes from and how it is spent by the candidate"
Second, disclosure requirements deter actual corruption and avoid the appearance of corruption by exposing large contributions and expenditures to the light of publicity.
Third, and not least significant, recordkeeping, reporting,
The disclosure requirements, as a general matter, directly serve substantial governmental interests. In determining whether these interests are sufficient to justify the requirements we must look to the extent of the burden that they place on individual rights.
It is undoubtedly true that public disclosure of contributions to candidates and political parties will deter some individuals who otherwise might contribute. In some instances, disclosure may even expose contributors to harassment or retaliation. These are not insignificant burdens on individual rights, and they must be weighed carefully against the interests which Congress has sought to promote by this legislation. In this process, we note and agree with appellants' concession
B. Application to Minor Parties and Independents
Appellants contend that the Act's requirements are overbroad insofar as they apply to contributions to minor
1. Requisite Factual Showing
In NAACP v. Alabama the organization had "made an uncontroverted showing that on past occasions revelation of the identity of its rank-and-file members [had] exposed these members to economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and other manifestations of public hostility," 357 U. S., at 462, and the State was unable to show that the disclosure it sought had a "substantial bearing" on the issues it sought to clarify, id., at 464. Under those circumstances, the Court held that "whatever interest the State may have in [disclosure] has not been shown to be sufficient to overcome petitioner's constitutional objections." Id., at 465.
The Court of Appeals rejected appellants' suggestion that this case fits into the NAACP v. Alabama mold. It concluded that substantial governmental interests in "informing the electorate and preventing the corruption of the political process" were furthered by requiring disclosure of minor parties and independent candidates, 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 218, 519 F. 2d, at 867, and therefore found no "tenable rationale for assuming that the public interest in minority party disclosure of contributions above a reasonable cutoff point is uniformly outweighed by potential contributors' associational rights," id., at 219, 519 F. 2d, at 868. The court left open the question of the application of the disclosure requirements to candidates (and parties) who could demonstrate injury of the sort at stake in NAACP v. Alabama. No record of harassment on a similar scale was found in this case.
It is true that the governmental interest in disclosure is diminished when the contribution in question is made to a minor party with little chance of winning an election. As minor parties usually represent definite and publicized viewpoints, there may be less need to inform the voters of the interests that specific candidates represent. Major parties encompass candidates of greater diversity. In many situations the label "Republican" or "Democrat" tells a voter little. The candidate who bears it may be supported by funds from the far right, the far left, or any place in between on the political spectrum. It is less likely that a candidate of, say, the Socialist Labor Party will represent interests that cannot be discerned from the party's ideological position.
The Government's interest in deterring the "buying" of elections and the undue influence of large contributors on officeholders also may be reduced where contributions to a minor party or an independent candidate are concerned, for it is less likely that the candidate will be victorious. But a minor party sometimes can play a significant role in an election. Even when a minor-party candidate has little or no chance of winning, he may be encouraged by major-party interests in order to divert votes from other major-party contenders.
There could well be a case, similar to those before the Court in NAACP v. Alabama and Bates, where the threat to the exercise of First Amendment rights is so serious and the state interest furthered by disclosure so insubstantial that the Act's requirements cannot be constitutionally applied.
2. Blanket Exemption
Appellants agree that "the record here does not reflect the kind of focused and insistent harassment of contributors and members that existed in the NAACP cases." Ibid. They argue, however, that a blanket exemption for minor parties is necessary lest irreparable injury be done before the required evidence can be gathered.
Those parties that would be sufficiently "minor" to be exempted from the requirements of § 434 could be defined, appellants suggest, along the lines used for public-financing purposes, see Part III-A, infra, as those who received less than 25% of the vote in past elections. Appellants do not argue that this line is constitutionally required. They suggest as an alternative defining "minor parties" as those that do not qualify for automatic ballot access under state law. Presumably, other criteria, such as current political strength (measured by polls or petition), age, or degree of organization, could also be used.
The difficulty with these suggestions is that they reflect only a party's past or present political strength and
An opinion dissenting in part from the Court of Appeals' decision concedes that no one line is "constitutionally required."
We recognize that unduly strict requirements of proof could impose a heavy burden, but it does not follow that a blanket exemption for minor parties is necessary. Minor parties must be allowed sufficient flexibility in the proof of injury to assure a fair consideration of their claim. The evidence offered need show only a reasonable probability that the compelled disclosure of a party's contributors' names will subject them to threats, harassment, or reprisals from either Government officials or private parties. The proof may include, for example, specific evidence of past or present harassment of members due to their associational ties, or of harassment directed against the organization itself. A pattern of threats or specific manifestations of public hostility may be sufficient. New parties that have no history upon which to draw may be able to offer evidence of reprisals and threats directed against individuals or organizations holding similar views.
Where it exists the type of chill and harassment identified in NAACP v. Alabama can be shown. We cannot assume that courts will be insensitive to similar showings when made in future cases. We therefore conclude that a blanket exemption is not required.
C. Section 434 (e)
Section 434 (e) requires "[e]very person (other than a political committee or candidate) who makes contributions
In considering this provision we must apply the same strict standard of scrutiny, for the right of associational privacy developed in NAACP v. Alabama derives from the rights of the organization's members to advocate their personal points of view in the most effective way. 357 U. S., at 458, 460. See also NAACP v. Button, 371 U. S., at 429-431; Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U. S., at 250.
Appellants attack § 434 (e) as a direct intrusion on privacy of belief, in violation of Talley v. California, 362 U.S. 60 (1960), and as imposing "very real, practical burdens . . . certain to deter individuals from making expenditures for their independent political speech" analogous to those held to be impermissible in Thomas v. Collins, 323 U.S. 516 (1945).
1. The Role of § 434 (e)
The Court of Appeals upheld § 434 (e) as necessary to enforce the independent-expenditure ceiling imposed by 18 U. S. C. § 608 (e) (1) (1970 ed., Supp. IV). It said:
We have found that § 608 (e) (1) unconstitutionally infringes
But the two provisions are not so intimately tied. The legislative history on the function of § 434 (e) is bare, but it was clearly intended to stand independently of § 608 (e) (1). It was enacted with the general disclosure provisions in 1971 as part of the original Act,
2. Vagueness Problems
In its effort to be all-inclusive, however, the provision raises serious problems of vagueness, particularly treacherous where, as here, the violation of its terms carries criminal penalties
Section 434 (e) applies to "[e]very person . . . who makes contributions or expenditures." "Contributions" and "expenditures" are defined in parallel provisions in terms of the use of money or other valuable assets "for the purpose of . . . influencing" the nomination or election of candidates for federal office.
Due process requires that a criminal statute provide adequate notice to a person of ordinary intelligence that his contemplated conduct is illegal, for "no man shall be held criminally responsible for conduct which he could not reasonably understand to be proscribed." United States v. Harriss, 347 U.S. 612, 617 (1954). See also Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156 (1972). Where First Amendment rights are involved, an even "greater degree of specificity" is required. Smith v. Goguen, 415 U. S., at 573. See Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 109 (1972); Kunz v. New York, 340 U.S. 290 (1951).
There is no legislative history to guide us in determining the scope of the critical phrase "for the purpose of . . . influencing." It appears to have been adopted without comment from earlier disclosure Acts.
In enacting the legislation under review Congress addressed broadly the problem of political campaign financing. It wished to promote full disclosure of campaign-oriented spending to insure both the reality and the appearance of the purity and openness of the federal election process.
In Part I we discussed what constituted a "contribution" for purposes of the contribution limitations set forth in 18 U. S. C. § 608 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. IV).
When we attempt to define "expenditure" in a similarly narrow way we encounter line-drawing problems
But when the maker of the expenditure is not within these categories—when it is an individual other than a candidate or a group other than a "political committee"
In summary, § 434 (e), as construed, imposes independent reporting requirements on individuals and groups that are not candidates or political committees only in the following circumstances: (1) when they make contributions earmarked for political purposes or authorized or requested by a candidate or his agent, to some person other than a candidate or political committee, and (2) when they make expenditures for communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.
Unlike 18 U. S. C. § 608 (e) (1) (1970 ed., Supp. IV), § 434 (e), as construed, bears a sufficient relationship to a substantial governmental interest. As narrowed, § 434 (e), like § 608 (e) (1), does not reach all partisan discussion for it only requires disclosure of those expenditures that expressly advocate a particular election result. This might have been fatal if the only purpose of § 434 (e)
Section 434 (e), as we have construed it, does not contain the infirmities of the provisions before the Court in Talley v. California, 362 U.S. 60 (1960), and Thomas v. Collins, 323 U.S. 516 (1945). The ordinance found wanting in Talley forbade all distribution of handbills that did not contain the name of the printer, author, or manufacturer, and the name of the distributor. The city urged that the ordinance was aimed at identifying those responsible for fraud, false advertising, and libel, but the Court found that it was "in no manner so limited." 362 U. S., at 64. Here, as we have seen, the disclosure requirement is narrowly limited to those situations where the information sought has a substantial connection with the governmental interests sought to be advanced. Thomas held unconstitutional a prior restraint in the form of a registration requirement for labor organizers.
Appellants' third contention, based on alleged overbreadth, is that the monetary thresholds in the recordkeeping and reporting provisions lack a substantial nexus with the claimed governmental interests, for the amounts involved are too low even to attract the attention of the candidate, much less have a corrupting influence.
The provisions contain two thresholds. Records are to be kept by political committees of the names and addresses of those who make contributions in excess of $10, § 432 (c) (2), and these records are subject to Commission audit, § 438 (a) (8). If a person's contributions to a committee or candidate aggregate more than $100, his name and address, as well as his occupation and principal place of business, are to be included in reports filed by committees and candidates with the Commission, § 434 (b) (2), and made available for public inspection, § 438 (a) (4).
The Court of Appeals rejected appellants' contention that these thresholds are unconstitutional. It found the challenge on First Amendment grounds to the $10 threshold to be premature, for it could "discern no basis in the statute for authorizing disclosure outside the Commission
The $10 and $100 thresholds are indeed low. Contributors of relatively small amounts are likely to be especially sensitive to recording or disclosure of their political preferences. These strict requirements may well discourage participation by some citizens in the political process, a result that Congress hardly could have intended. Indeed, there is little in the legislative history to indicate that Congress focused carefully on the appropriate level at which to require recording and disclosure. Rather, it seems merely to have adopted the thresholds existing in similar disclosure laws since 1910.
We are mindful that disclosure serves informational functions, as well as the prevention of corruption and the enforcement of the contribution limitations. Congress is not required to set a threshold that is tailored only to the latter goals. In addition, the enforcement
The $10 recordkeeping threshold, in a somewhat similar fashion, facilitates the enforcement of the disclosure provisions by making it relatively difficult to aggregate secret contributions in amounts that surpass the $100 limit. We agree with the Court of Appeals that there is no warrant for assuming that public disclosure of contributions between $10 and $100 is authorized by the Act. Accordingly, we do not reach the question whether information concerning gifts of this size can be made available to the public without trespassing impermissibly on First Amendment rights. Cf. California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz, 416 U. S., at 56-57.
In summary, we find no constitutional infirmities in the recordkeeping, reporting, and disclosure provisions of the Act.
III. PUBLIC FINANCING OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
A series of statutes
A. Summary of Subtitle H
Section 9006 establishes a Presidential Election Campaign Fund (Fund), financed from general revenues in the aggregate amount designated by individual taxpayers, under § 6096, who on their income tax returns may authorize payment to the Fund of one dollar of their tax liability in the case of an individual return or two dollars in the case of a joint return. The Fund consists of three separate accounts to finance (1) party nominating conventions, § 9008 (a), (2) general election campaigns, § 9006 (a), and (3) primary campaigns, § 9037 (a).
Major parties are entitled to $2,000,000 to defray their national committee Presidential nominating convention expenses, must limit total expenditures to that amount, § 9008 (d),
For expenses in the general election campaign, § 9004 (a) (1) entitles each major-party candidate to $20,000,000.
Chapter 96 establishes a third account in the Fund, the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account. § 9037 (a). This funding is intended to aid campaigns by candidates seeking Presidential nomination "by a political party," § 9033 (b) (2), in "primary elections," § 9032 (7).
B. Constitutionality of Subtitle H
Appellants argue that Subtitle H is invalid (1) as "contrary to the `general welfare,' " Art. I, § 8, (2) because any scheme of public financing of election campaigns is inconsistent with the First Amendment, and (3) because Subtitle H invidiously discriminates against certain interests in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. We find no merit in these contentions.
Appellants' "general welfare" contention erroneously treats the General Welfare Clause as a limitation upon congressional power. It is rather a grant of power, the scope of which is quite expansive, particularly in view of the enlargement of power by the Necessary and Proper Clause. M`Culloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 420 (1819). Congress has power to regulate Presidential elections and primaries, United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941); Burroughs v. United States, 290 U.S. 534 (1934); and public financing of Presidential elections as a means to reform the electoral process was clearly a choice within the granted power. It is for Congress to decide which expenditures will promote the general welfare: "[T]he power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not
Appellants' challenge to the dollar check-off provision (§ 6096) fails for the same reason. They maintain that Congress is required to permit taxpayers to designate particular candidates or parties as recipients of their money. But the appropriation to the Fund in § 9006 is like any other appropriation from the general revenue except that its amount is determined by reference to the aggregate of the one-and two-dollar authorization on taxpayers' income tax returns. This detail does not constitute the appropriation any less an appropriation by Congress.
Appellants next argue that "by analogy" to the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment public financing of election campaigns, however meritorious, violates the First Amendment. We have, of course, held that the Religion Clauses—"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"—require Congress, and the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, to remain neutral in matters of religion. E. g., Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 222-226 (1963). The government may not aid one religion to the detriment of others or impose a burden on one religion that is not imposed on others, and may not even aid all religions. E. g., Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 15-16 (1947). See Kurland, Of Church and State and the Supreme Court, 29 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1, 96 (1961). But the analogy is patently inapplicable to our issue here. Although "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or the press," Subtitle H is a congressional effort, not to abridge, restrict, or censor speech, but rather to use public money to facilitate and enlarge public
Equal protection analysis in the Fifth Amendment area is the same as that under the Fourteenth Amendment. Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 420 U.S. 636, 638 n. 2 (1975), and cases cited. In several situations concerning the electoral process, the principle has been
It cannot be gainsaid that public financing as a means of eliminating the improper influence of large private contributions furthers a significant governmental interest. S. Rep. No. 93-689, pp. 4-5 (1974). In addition, the limits on contributions necessarily increase the burden of fundraising, and Congress properly regarded public financing as an appropriate means of relieving major-party Presidential candidates from the rigors of soliciting private contributions. See id., at 5. The States have also been held to have important interests in limiting places on the ballot to those candidates who demonstrate substantial popular support. E. g., Storer v. Brown, supra, at 736; Lubin v. Panish, supra, at 718-719; Jenness v. Fortson, 403 U.S. 431, 442 (1971); Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U. S., at 31-33. Congress' interest in not funding hopeless candidacies with large sums of public money, S. Rep. No. 93-689, supra, at 7, necessarily justifies the withholding of public assistance from candidates without significant public support. Thus, Congress may legitimately require "some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support," Jenness v. Fortson, supra, at 442, as an eligibility requirement for public funds. This requirement also serves the important public interest against providing artificial incentives to "splintered parties and unrestrained factionalism." Storer v. Brown, supra, at 736; S. Rep. No. 93-689, supra, at 8; H. R. Rep. No. 93-1239, p. 13 (1974). Cf. Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 145 (1972).
At the same time Congress recognized the constitutional restraints against inhibition of the present opportunity of minor parties to become major political entities if they obtain widespread support. S. Rep. No. 93-689, supra, at 8-10; H. R. Rep. No. 93-1239, supra, at 13. As
1. General Election Campaign Financing
Appellants insist that Chapter 95 falls short of the constitutional requirement in that its provisions supply larger, and equal, sums to candidates of major parties, use prior vote levels as the sole criterion for pre-election funding, limit new-party candidates to post-election funds, and deny any funds to candidates of parties receiving less than 5% of the vote. These provisions, it is argued, are fatal to the validity of the scheme, because they work invidious discrimination against minor and new parties in violation of the Fifth Amendment. We disagree.
As conceded by appellants, the Constitution does not require Congress to treat all declared candidates the same for public financing purposes. As we said in Jenness v. Fortson, "there are obvious differences in kind between the needs and potentials of a political party with historically established broad support, on the one hand, and a new or small political organization on the other. . . . Sometimes the grossest discrimination can lie in treating
Furthermore, appellants have made no showing that
Appellants challenge reliance on the vote in past elections as the basis for determining eligibility. That challenge is foreclosed, however, by our holding in Jenness v. Fortson, 403 U. S., at 439-440, that popular vote totals in the last election are a proper measure of public support.
Appellants next argue, relying on the ballot-access decisions of this Court, that the absence of any alternative means of obtaining pre-election funding renders the scheme unjustifiably restrictive of minority political interests. Appellants' reliance on the ballot-access decisions is misplaced. To be sure, the regulation sustained in Jenness v. Fortson, for example, incorporated alternative means of qualifying for the ballot, 403 U. S., at 440, and the lack of an alternative was a defect in the scheme struck down in Lubin v. Panish, 415 U. S., at 718. To
Appellants' reliance on the alternative-means analyses of the ballot-access cases generally fails to recognize a significant distinction from the instant case. The primary goal of all candidates is to carry on a successful campaign by communicating to the voters persuasive reasons for electing them. In some of the ballot-access cases the States afforded candidates alternative means for qualifying for the ballot, a step in any campaign that, with rare exceptions, is essential to successful effort. Chapter 95 concededly provides only one method of obtaining pre-election financing; such funding is, however, not as necessary as being on the ballot. See n. 128, supra. Plainly, campaigns can be successfully carried out by means other than public financing; they have been up to this date, and this avenue is still open to all candidates. And, after all, the important achievements of minority
Of course, nonmajor parties and their candidates may qualify for post-election participation in public funding and in that sense the claimed discrimination is not total. Appellants contend, however, that the benefit of any such participation is illusory due to § 9004 (c), which bars the use of the money for any purpose other than paying campaign expenses or repaying loans that had been used to defray such expenses. The only meaningful use for post-election funds is thus to repay loans; but loans, except from national banks, are "contributions" subject to the general limitations on contributions, 18 U. S. C. § 591 (e) (1970 ed., Supp. IV). Further, they argue, loans are not readily available to nonmajor parties or candidates before elections to finance their campaigns. Availability of post-election funds therefore assertedly gives them nothing. But in the nature of things the willingness of lenders to make loans will depend upon the pre-election probability that the candidate and his party will attract 5% or more of the voters. When a reasonable prospect of such support appears, the party and candidate may be an acceptable loan risk since the prospect of post-election participation in public funding will be good.
2. Nominating Convention Financing
The foregoing analysis and reasoning sustaining general election funding apply in large part to convention funding under Chapter 95 and suffice to support our rejection of appellants' challenge to these provisions. Funding of party conventions has increasingly been derived from large private contributions, see H. R. Rep. No. 93-1239, p. 14 (1974), and the governmental interest in eliminating this reliance is as vital as in the case of private contributions to individual candidates. The expenditure limitations on major parties participating in public financing enhance the ability of nonmajor parties to increase their spending relative to the major parties; further, in soliciting private contributions to finance conventions, parties are not subject to the $1,000 contribution limit pertaining to candidates.
3. Primary Election Campaign Financing
Appellants' final challenge is to the constitutionality of Chapter 96, which provides funding of primary campaigns. They contend that these provisions are constitutionally invalid (1) because they do not provide funds for candidates not running in party primaries
The eligibility requirements in Chapter 96 are surely not an unreasonable way to measure popular support for a candidate, accomplishing the objective of limiting subsidization to those candidates with a substantial chance of being nominated. Counting only the first $250 of each contribution for eligibility purposes requires candidates to solicit smaller contributions from numerous people. Requiring the money to come from citizens of a minimum number of States eliminates candidates whose appeal is limited geographically; a President is elected not by popular vote, but by winning the popular vote in enough States to have a majority in the Electoral College.
For the reasons stated, we reject appellants' claims that Subtitle H is facially unconstitutional.
The only remaining issue is whether our holdings invalidating 18 U. S. C. §§ 608 (a), (c), and (e) (1) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) require the conclusion that Subtitle H is unconstitutional. There is, of course, a relationship between the spending limits in § 608 (c) and the public financing provisions; the expenditure limits accepted by a candidate to be eligible for public funding are identical to the limits in § 608 (c). But we have no difficulty in concluding that Subtitle H is severable. "Unless it is evident that the Legislature would not have enacted those provisions which are within its power, independently of that which is not, the invalid part may be dropped if what is left is fully operative as a law." Champlin
IV. THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
The 1974 amendments to the Act create an eight-member Federal Election Commission (Commission) and vest in it primary and substantial responsibility for administering and enforcing the Act. The question that we address in this portion of the opinion is whether, in view of the manner in which a majority of its members are appointed, the Commission may under the Constitution exercise the powers conferred upon it. We find it unnecessary to parse the complex statutory provisions in order to sketch the full sweep of the Commission's authority. It will suffice for present purposes to describe what appear to be representative examples of its various powers.
Chapter 14 of Title 2
The Commission's enforcement power is both direct and wide ranging. It may institute a civil action for (i) injunctive or other relief against "any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of this Act," § 437g (a) (5); (ii) declaratory or injunctive relief "as may be appropriate to implement or con[s]true any provisions" of Chapter 95 of Title 26, governing administration of funds for Presidential election campaigns and national party conventions, 26 U. S. C. § 9011 (b) (1) (1970 ed., Supp. IV); and (iii) "such injunctive relief as is appropriate to implement any provision" of Chapter 96 of Title 26, governing the payment of matching funds for Presidential primary campaigns, 26 U. S. C. § 9040 (c) (1970 ed., Supp. IV). If after the Commission's post-disbursement audit of candidates receiving payments under Chapter 95 or 96 it finds an overpayment, it is empowered to seek repayment of all funds due the Secretary of the Treasury. 26 U. S. C. §§ 9010 (b), 9040 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. IV). In no respect do the foregoing civil actions require the concurrence of or participation by the Attorney General; conversely, the decision not to seek judicial relief in the above respects would appear to rest solely with the Commission.
The body in which this authority is reposed consists of eight members.
Appellants argue that given the Commission's extensive powers the method of choosing its members under § 437c (a) (1) runs afoul of the separation of powers embedded in the Constitution, and urge that as presently constituted the Commission's "existence be held unconstitutional by this Court." Before embarking on this or any
We have recently recognized the distinction between jurisdictional limitations imposed by Art. III and "[p]roblems of prematurity and abstractness" that may prevent adjudication in all but the exceptional case. Socialist Labor Party v. Gilligan, 406 U.S. 583, 588 (1972). In Regional Rail Reorganization Act Cases, 419 U.S. 102, 140 (1974), we stated that "ripeness is peculiarly a question of timing," and therefore the passage of months between the time of the decision of the Court of Appeals and our present ruling is of itself significant. We likewise observed in the Reorganization Act Cases:
The Court of Appeals held that of the five specific certified questions directed at the Commission's authority, only its powers to render advisory opinions and to authorize excessive convention expenditures were ripe for adjudication. The court held that the remaining aspects of the Commission's authority could not be adjudicated because "[in] its present stance, this litigation does not present the court with the concrete facts that are necessary
Since the entry of judgment by the Court of Appeals,
Party litigants with sufficient concrete interests at stake may have standing to raise constitutional questions of separation of powers with respect to an agency designated to adjudicate their rights. Palmore v. United States, 411 U.S. 389 (1973); Glidden Co. v. Zdanok, 370 U.S. 530 (1962); Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939). In Glidden, of course, the challenged adjudication had already taken place, whereas in this case appellants' claim is of impending future rulings and determinations by the Commission. But this is a question of ripeness, rather than lack of case or controversy under Art. III, and for the reasons to which we have previously
B. The Merits
Appellants urge that since Congress has given the Commission wide-ranging rulemaking and enforcement powers with respect to the substantive provisions of the Act, Congress is precluded under the principle of separation of powers from vesting in itself the authority to appoint those who will exercise such authority. Their argument is based on the language of Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution, which provides in pertinent part as follows:
Appellants' argument is that this provision is the exclusive method by which those charged with executing the laws of the United States may be chosen. Congress, they assert, cannot have it both ways. If the Legislature wishes the Commission to exercise all of the conferred powers, then its members are in fact "Officers of the United States" and must be appointed under the Appointments Clause. But if Congress insists upon retaining the power to appoint, then the members of the Commission may not discharge those many functions of the Commission which can be performed only by "Officers of
Appellee Commission and amici in support of the Commission urge that the Framers of the Constitution, while mindful of the need for checks and balances among the three branches of the National Government, had no intention of denying to the Legislative Branch authority to appoint its own officers. Congress, either under the Appointments Clause or under its grants of substantive legislative authority and the Necessary and Proper Clause in Art. I, is in their view empowered to provide for the appointment to the Commission in the manner which it did because the Commission is performing "appropriate legislative functions."
The majority of the Court of Appeals recognized the importance of the doctrine of separation of powers which is at the heart of our Constitution, and also recognized the principle enunciated in Springer v. Philippine Islands, 277 U.S. 189 (1928), that the Legislative Branch may not exercise executive authority by retaining the power to appoint those who will execute its laws. But it described appellants' argument based upon Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, as "strikingly syllogistic," and concluded that Congress had sufficient authority under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Art. I of the Constitution not only to establish the Commission but to appoint the Commission's members. As we have earlier noted, it upheld the constitutional validity of congressional vesting of certain authority in the Commission, and concluded that the question of the constitutional validity of the vesting of its remaining functions was not yet ripe for review. The three dissenting judges in the Court of Appeals concluded that the method of appointment for the Commission did violate the doctrine of separation of powers.
We do not think appellants' arguments based upon Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution may be so easily dismissed as did the majority of the Court of Appeals. Our inquiry of necessity touches upon the fundamental principles of the Government established by the Framers of the Constitution, and all litigants and all of the courts which have addressed themselves to the matter start on common ground in the recognition of the intent of the Framers that the powers of the three great branches of the National Government be largely separate from one another.
James Madison, writing in the Federalist No. 47,
Yet it is also clear from the provisions of the Constitution itself, and from the Federalist Papers, that the Constitution by no means contemplates total separation of each of these three essential branches of Government. The President is a participant in the lawmaking process by virtue of his authority to veto bills enacted by Congress. The Senate is a participant in the appointive process by virtue of its authority to refuse to confirm persons nominated to office by the President. The men who met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 were practical statesmen, experienced in politics, who viewed the principle of separation of powers as a vital check against tyranny. But they likewise saw that a hermetic sealing off of the three branches of Government from one another would preclude the establishment of a Nation capable of governing itself effectively.
Mr. Chief Justice Taft, writing for the Court in Hampton & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394 (1928), after stating the general principle of separation of powers found in the United States Constitution, went on to observe:
More recently, Mr. Justice Jackson, concurring in the opinion and the judgment of the Court in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635 (1952), succinctly characterized this understanding:
The Framers regarded the checks and balances that they had built into the tripartite Federal Government as a self-executing safeguard against the encroachment or aggrandizement of one branch at the expense of the other. As Madison put it in Federalist No. 51:
This Court has not hesitated to enforce the principle of separation of powers embodied in the Constitution when its application has proved necessary for the decisions of cases or controversies properly before it. The Court has held that executive or administrative duties of a nonjudicial nature may not be imposed on judges holding office under Art. III of the Constitution. United States v. Ferreira, 13 How. 40 (1852); Hayburn's Case, 2 Dall. 409 (1792). The Court has held that the President may not execute and exercise legislative authority belonging only to Congress. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, supra. In the course of its opinion in that case, the Court said:
2. The Appointments Clause
The principle of separation of powers was not simply an abstract generalization in the minds of the Framers: it was woven into the document that they drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. Article I, § 1, declares: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Article II, § 1, vests the executive power "in a President of the United States of America," and Art. III, § 1, declares that "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." The further concern of the Framers of the Constitution with maintenance of the separation of powers is found in the so-called "Ineligibility" and "Incompatibility" Clauses contained in Art. I, § 6:
It is in the context of these cognate provisions of the document that we must examine the language of Art. II. § 2, cl. 2, which appellants contend provides the only authorization for appointment of those to whom substantial executive or administrative authority is given
The Appointments Clause could, of course, be read as merely dealing with etiquette or protocol in describing "Officers of the United States," but the drafters had a less frivolous purpose in mind. This conclusion is supported by language from United States v. Germaine, 99 U.S. 508, 509-510 (1879):
We think that the term "Officers of the United States"
If "all persons who can be said to hold an office under the government about to be established under the Constitution were intended to be included within one or the other of these modes of appointment," United States v. Germaine, supra, it is difficult to see how the members of the Commission may escape inclusion. If a postmaster first class, Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926), and the clerk of a district court, Ex parte Hennen, 13 Pet. 230 (1839), are inferior officers of the United States within the meaning of the Appointments Clause, as they are, surely the Commissioners before us are at the very least such "inferior Officers" within the meaning of that Clause.
Although two members of the Commission are initially selected by the President, his nominations are subject to confirmation not merely by the Senate, but by the House of Representatives as well. The remaining four voting members of the Commission are appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate and by the Speaker of the House. While the second part of the Clause
The phrase "Heads of Departments," used as it is in conjunction with the phrase "Courts of Law," suggests that the Departments referred to are themselves in the Executive Branch or at least have some connection with that branch. While the Clause expressly authorizes Congress to vest the appointment of certain officers in the "Courts of Law," the absence of similar language to include Congress must mean that neither Congress nor its officers were included within the language "Heads of Departments" in this part of cl. 2.
Thus with respect to four of the six voting members of the Commission, neither the President, the head of any department, nor the Judiciary has any voice in their selection.
The Appointments Clause specifies the method of appointment only for "Officers of the United States" whose appointment is not "otherwise provided for" in the Constitution. But there is no provision of the Constitution remotely providing any alternative means for the selection of the members of the Commission or for anybody like them. Appellee Commission has argued, and the Court of Appeals agreed, that the Appointments Clause of Art. II should not be read to exclude the "inherent power of Congress" to appoint its own officers to perform functions necessary to that body as an institution. But there is no need to read the Appointments Clause contrary to its plain language in order to reach the result sought by the Court of Appeals. Article I, § 3, cl. 5, expressly authorizes the selection of the President pro tempore of the Senate, and § 2, cl. 5, of that Article provides
Appellee Commission and amici contend somewhat obliquely that because the Framers had no intention of relegating Congress to a position below that of the co-equal Judicial and Executive Branches of the National Government, the Appointments Clause must somehow be read to include Congress or its officers as among those
An interim version of the draft Constitution had vested in the Senate the authority to appoint Ambassadors, public Ministers, and Judges of the Supreme Court, and the language of Art. II as finally adopted is a distinct change in this regard. We believe that it was a deliberate change made by the Framers with the intent to deny Congress any authority itself to appoint those who were "Officers of the United States." The debates on the floor of the Convention reflect at least in part the way the change came about.
On Monday, August 6, 1787, the Committee on Detail to which had been referred the entire draft of the Constitution reported its draft to the Convention, including the following two articles that bear on the question before us:
It will be seen from a comparison of these two articles that the appointment of Ambassadors and Judges of the Supreme Court was confided to the Senate, and that the authority to appoint—not merely nominate, but to actually appoint—all other officers was reposed in the President.
During a discussion of a provision in the same draft from the Committee on Detail which provided that the "Treasurer" of the United States should be chosen by both Houses of Congress, Mr. Read moved to strike out that clause, "leaving the appointment of the Treasurer as of other officers to the Executive."
On Thursday, August 23, the Convention voted to insert after the word "Ambassadors" in the text of draft Art. IX the words "and other public Ministers." Immediately afterwards, the section as amended was referred to the "Committee of Five."
Meanwhile, on Friday, August 31, a motion had been carried without opposition to refer such parts of the Constitution as had been postponed or not acted upon to a Committee of Eleven. Such reference carried with it both Arts. IX and X. The following week the Committee of Eleven made its report to the Convention, in which the present language of Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, dealing with the authority of the President to nominate is found, virtually word for word, as § 4 of Art. X.
It would seem a fair surmise that a compromise had been made. But no change was made in the concept of the term "Officers of the United States," which since it had first appeared in Art. X had been taken by all concerned to embrace all appointed officials exercising responsibility under the public laws of the Nation.
Appellee Commission and amici urge that because of what they conceive to be the extraordinary authority reposed in Congress to regulate elections, this case stands on a different footing than if Congress had exercised its legislative authority in another field. There is, of course, no doubt that Congress has express authority to regulate
The position that because Congress has been given explicit and plenary authority to regulate a field of activity, it must therefore have the power to appoint those who are to administer the regulatory statute is both novel and contrary to the language of the Appointments Clause. Unless their selection is elsewhere provided for, all officers of the United States are to be appointed in accordance with the Clause. Principal officers are selected by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Inferior officers Congress may allow to be appointed by the President alone, by the heads of departments, or by the Judiciary. No class or type of officer is excluded because of its special functions. The President appoints judicial as well as executive officers. Neither has it been disputed—and apparently
Appellees argue that the legislative authority conferred upon the Congress in Art. I, § 4, to regulate "the Times, places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives" is augmented by the provision in § 5 that "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members." Section 5 confers, however, not a general legislative power upon the Congress, but rather a power "judicial in character" upon each House of the Congress. Barry v. United States ex rel. Cunningham, 279 U.S. 597, 613 (1929). The power of each House to judge whether one claiming election as Senator or Representative has met the requisite qualifications, Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486 (1969), cannot reasonably be translated into a power granted to the Congress itself to impose substantive qualifications on the right to so hold such office. Whatever power Congress may have to legislate, such qualifications must derive from § 4, rather than § 5, of Art. I.
Appellees also rely on the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution insofar as the authority of the Commission to regulate practices in connection with the Presidential election is concerned. This Amendment provides that certificates of the votes of the electors be "sealed [and]
We are also told by appellees and amici that Congress had good reason for not vesting in a Commission composed wholly of Presidential appointees the authority to administer the Act, since the administration of the Act would undoubtedly have a bearing on any incumbent President's campaign for re-election. While one cannot dispute the basis for this sentiment as a practical matter, it would seem that those who sought to challenge incumbent Congressmen might have equally good reason to fear a Commission which was unduly responsive to members of Congress whom they were seeking to unseat. But such fears, however rational, do not by themselves warrant a distortion of the Framers' work.
Appellee Commission and amici finally contend, and the majority of the Court of Appeals agreed with them, that whatever shortcomings the provisions for the appointment of members of the Commission might have under Art. II, Congress had ample authority under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Art. I to effectuate this result. We do not agree. The proper inquiry when considering the Necessary and Proper Clause is not the authority of Congress to create an office or a commission, which is broad indeed, but rather its authority to provide
So framed, the claim that Congress may provide for this manner of appointment under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Art. I stands on no better footing than the claim that it may provide for such manner of appointment because of its substantive authority to regulate federal elections. Congress could not, merely because it concluded that such a measure was "necessary and proper" to the discharge of its substantive legislative authority, pass a bill of attainder or ex post facto law contrary to the prohibitions contained in § 9 of Art. I. No more may it vest in itself, or in its officers, the authority to appoint officers of the United States when the Appointments Clause by clear implication prohibits it from doing so.
The trilogy of cases from this Court dealing with the constitutional authority of Congress to circumscribe the President's power to remove officers of the United States is entirely consistent with this conclusion. In Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926), the Court held that Congress could not by statute divest the President of the power to remove an officer in the Executive Branch whom he was initially authorized to appoint. In explaining its reasoning in that case, the Court said:
In the later case of Humphrey's Executor, where it was held that Congress could circumscribe the President's power to remove members of independent regulatory agencies, the Court was careful to note that it was dealing with an agency intended to be independent of executive authority "except in its selection." 295 U. S. at 625 (emphasis in original). Wiener v. United States, 357 U.S. 349 (1958), which applied the holding in Humphrey's Executor to a member of the War Claims Commission, did not question in any respect that members of independent agencies are not independent of the Executive with respect to their appointments.
This conclusion is buttressed by the fact that Mr. Justice Sutherland, the author of the Court's opinion in Humphrey's Executor, likewise wrote the opinion for the Court in Springer v. Philippine Islands, 277 U.S. 189 (1928), in which it was said:
3. The Commission's Powers
Thus, on the assumption that all of the powers granted in the statute may be exercised by an agency whose members have been appointed in accordance with the Appointments Clause,
Insofar as the powers confided in the Commission are essentially of an investigative and informative nature, falling in the same general category as those powers which Congress might delegate to one of its own committees, there can be no question that the Commission as presently constituted may exercise them. Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168 (1881); McGrain v. Daugherty,
But when we go beyond this type of authority to the more substantial powers exercised by the Commission, we reach a different result. The Commission's enforcement power, exemplified by its discretionary power to seek judicial relief, is authority that cannot possibly be regarded as merely in aid of the legislative function of Congress. A lawsuit is the ultimate remedy for a breach of the law, and it is to the President, and not to the Congress, that the Constitution entrusts the responsibility to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Art. II, § 3.
Congress may undoubtedly under the Necessary and Proper Clause create "offices" in the generic sense and provide such method of appointment to those "offices" as it chooses. But Congress' power under that Clause
This Court observed more than a century ago with respect to litigation conducted in the courts of the United States:
The Court echoed similar sentiments 59 years later in Springer v. Philippine Islands, 277 U. S., at 202, saying:
We hold that these provisions of the Act, vesting in the Commission primary responsibility for conducting civil litigation in the courts of the United States for vindicating public rights, violate Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution. Such functions may be discharged only by persons who are "Officers of the United States" within the language of that section.
All aspects of the Act are brought within the Commission's broad administrative powers: rulemaking, advisory opinions, and determinations of eligibility for funds and even for federal elective office itself. These functions, exercised free from day-to-day supervision of either Congress
In No. 75-436, the judgment of the Court of Appeals
MR. JUSTICE STEVENS took no part in the consideration or decision of these cases.
APPENDIX TO PER CURIAM OPINION
TITLE 2. THE CONGRESS
CHAPTER 14—FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
SUBCHAPTER I.—DISCLOSURE OF FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
§ 431. Definitions.
When used in this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter—
(a) "election" means—
(c) "Federal office" means the office of President or Vice President of the United States; or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress of the United States;
(d) "political committee" means any committee, club, association, or other group of persons which receives contributions or makes expenditures during a calendar year in an aggregate amount exceeding $1,000;
(g) "Commission" means the Federal Election Commission;
(h) "person" means an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, and any other organization or group of persons;
(i) "State" means each State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States;
(k) "national committee" means the organization which, by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of such political party at the national level, as determined by the Commission;
(l) "State committee" means the organization which, by virtue of the bylaws of a political party, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of such political party at the State level, as determined by the Commission;
(m) "political party" means an association, committee, or organization which nominates a candidate for election to any Federal office, whose name appears on the election ballot as the candidate of such association, committee, or organization; and
(n) "principal campaign committee" means the principal campaign committee designated by a candidate under section 432 (f) (1) of this title.
§ 432. Organization of political committees.
(a) Chairman; treasurer; vacancies; official authorizations. Every political committee shall have a chairman and a treasurer. No contribution and no expenditure shall be accepted or made by or on behalf of a political committee at a time when there is a vacancy in the office of chairman or treasurer thereof. No expenditure shall be made for or on behalf of a political committee without the authorization of its chairman or treasurer, or their designated agents.
(b) Account of contributions; segregated funds.
(c) Recordkeeping. It shall be the duty of the treasurer of a political committee to keep a detailed and exact account of—
(d) Receipts; preservation. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to obtain and keep a receipted bill, stating the particulars, for every expenditure made by or on behalf of a political committee in excess of $100 in amount, and for any such expenditure in a lesser amount, if the aggregate amount of such expenditures to the same person during a calendar year exceeds $100. The treasurer
(e) Unauthorized activities; notice. Any political committee which solicits or receives contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of any candidate that is not authorized in writing by such candidate to do so shall include a notice on the face or front page of all literature and advertisements published in connection with such candidate's campaign by such committee or on its behalf stating that the committee is not authorized by such candidate and that such candidate is not responsible for the activities of such committee.
(f) Principal campaign committees; one candidate limitation; office of President: national committee for candidate; duties. (1) Each individual who is a candidate for Federal office (other than the office of Vice President of the United States) shall designate a political committee to serve as his principal campaign committee. No political committee may be designated as the principal campaign committee of more than one candidate, except that the candidate for the office of President of the United States nominated by a political party may designate the national committee of such political party as his principal campaign committee. Except as provided in the preceding sentence, no political committee which supports more than one candidate may be designated as a principal campaign committee.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, each report or statement of contributions received or expenditures made by a political committee (other than a principal campaign committee) which is required to be filed with the Commission under this subchapter shall be filed instead with the principal campaign
(3) It shall be the duty of each principal campaign committee to receive all reports and statements required to be filed with it under paragraph (2) of this subsection and to compile and file such reports and statements, together with its own reports and statements, with the Commission in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.
§ 433. Registration of political committees.
(a) Statements of organization. Each political committee which anticipates receiving contributions or making expenditures during the calendar year in an aggregate amount exceeding $1,000 shall file with the Commission a statement of organization, within 10 days after its organization or, if later, 10 days after the date on which it has information which causes the committee to anticipate it will receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $1,000. Each such committee in existence at the date of enactment of this Act shall file a statement of organization with the Commission at such time as it prescribes.
(b) Contents of statements. The statement of organization shall include—
(c) Information changes; report. Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the Commission within a 10-day period following the change.
(d) Disbanding of political committees or contributions and expenditures below prescribed ceiling; notice. Any committee which, after having filed one or more statements of organization, disbands or determines it will no longer receive contributions or make expenditures during the calendar year in an aggregate amount exceeding $1,000 shall so notify the Commission.
(e) Filing reports and notifications with appropriate principal campaign committees. In the case of a political
§ 434. Reports by political committees and candidates.
(a) Receipts and expenditures; completion date, exception.
(1) Except as provided by paragraph (2), each treasurer of a political committee supporting a candidate or candidates for election to Federal office, and each candidate for election to such office, shall file with the Commission reports of receipts and expenditures on forms to be prescribed or approved by it. The reports referred to in the preceding sentence shall be filed as follows:
Any contribution of $1,000 or more received after the 15th day, but more than 48 hours, before any election shall be reported within 48 hours after its receipt.
(2) Each treasurer of a political committee which is not a principal campaign committee shall file the reports required under this section with the appropriate principal campaign committee.
(3) Upon a request made by a presidential candidate or a political committee which operates in more than one State, or upon its own motion, the Commission may waive the reporting dates set forth in paragraph (1) (other than the reporting date set forth in paragraph (1) (B)), and require instead that such candidate or political committee file reports not less frequently than monthly. The Commission may not require a presidential candidate or a political committee operating in more than one State to file more than 12 reports (not counting any report referred to in paragraph (1) (B)) during any calendar year. If the Commission acts on its own motion
(b) Contents of reports. Each report under this section shall disclose—
(c) Cumulative reports for calendar year; amounts for unchanged items carried forward; statement of inactive status. The reports required to be filed by subsection (a) of this section shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate, but where there has been no change in an item reported in a previous report during such year, only the amount need be carried forward. If no contributions or expenditures have been accepted or expended during a calendar year, the treasurer of the political committee or candidate shall file a statement to that effect.
(d) Members of Congress; reporting exemption. This section does not require a Member of the Congress to report, as contributions received or as expenditures made, the value of photographic, matting, or recording services furnished to him by the Senate Recording Studio, the House Recording Studio, or by an individual whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives and who furnishes such services as his primary duty as an employee of the Senate or House of Representatives, or if such services were paid for by the Republican or Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Congressional
(e) Reports by other than political committees. Every person (other than a political committee or candidate) who makes contributions or expenditures, other than by contribution to a political committee or candidate, in an aggregate amount in excess of $100 within a calendar year shall file with the Commission a statement containing the information required by this section. Statements required by this subsection shall be filed on the dates on which reports by political committees are filed but need not be cumulative.
§ 437a. Reports by certain persons; exemptions.
Any person (other than an individual) who expends any funds or commits any act directed to the public for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election, or who publishes or broadcasts to the public any material referring to a candidate (by name, description, or other reference) advocating the election or defeat of such candidate, setting forth the candidate's position on any public issue, his voting record, or other official acts (in the case of a candidate who holds or has held Federal office), or otherwise designed to influence individuals to cast their votes for or against such candidate or to withhold their votes from such candidate shall file reports with the Commission as if such person were a political committee. The reports filed by such person shall set forth the source of the funds used in carrying out any activity described in the preceding sentence in the same detail as if the funds were contributions within the meaning of section 431 (e) of this title, and payments of such funds in the same detail as if they were expenditures within the meaning of section 431 (f) of this title. The provisions
§ 437c. Federal Election Commission.
(a) Establishment; membership; term of office; vacancies; qualifications; compensation; chairman and vice chairman.
(1) There is established a commission to be known as the Federal Election Commission. The Commission is composed of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, ex officio and without the right to vote, and six members appointed as follows:
A member appointed under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) shall not be affiliated with the same political party as the other member appointed under such paragraph.
(2) Members of the Commission shall serve for terms of 6 years, except that of the members first appointed—
An individual appointed to fill a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member he succeeds. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as in the case of the original appointment.
(3) Members shall be chosen on the basis of their maturity, experience, integrity, impartiality, and good judgment and shall be chosen from among individuals who, at the time of their appointment, are not elected or appointed officers or employees in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States.
(4) Members of the Commission (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) shall receive compensation equivalent to the compensation paid at level IV of the Executive Schedule (5 U. S. C. 5315).
(5) The Commission shall elect a chairman and a vice chairman from among its members (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) for a term of one year. No member may serve as chairman more often than once during any term of office to which he is appointed. The chairman and the vice chairman shall not be affiliated with the same political party. The vice chairman shall act as chairman in the absence or disability of the chairman, or in the event of a vacancy in such office.
(b) Administration, enforcement, and formulation of policy; primary jurisdiction of civil enforcement.
The Commission shall administer, seek to obtain compliance with, and formulate policy with respect to this Act and sections 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616,
(c) Voting requirement; nondelegation of function.
All decisions of the Commission with respect to the exercise of its duties and powers under the provisions of this subchapter shall be made by a majority vote of the members of the Commission. A member of the Commission may not delegate to any person his vote or any decisionmaking authority or duty vested in the Commission by the provisions of this subchapter.
The Commission shall meet at least once each month and also at the call of any member.
(e) Rules for conduct of activities; seal, judicial notice; principal office.
The Commission shall prepare written rules for the conduct of its activities, shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed, and shall have its principal office in or near the District of Columbia (but it may meet or exercise any of its powers anywhere in the United States).
(f) Staff director and general counsel: appointment and compensation; appointment and compensation of personnel and procurement of intermittent services by staff director; use of assistance, personnel, and facilities of Federal agencies and departments.
(1) The Commission shall have a staff director and a general counsel who shall be appointed by the Commission. The staff director shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay in effect for level IV of the Executive Schedule (5 U. S. C. 5315). The general counsel shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay in effect for level V of the Executive Schedule (5 U. S. C. 5316). With the approval of the
(2) With the approval of the Commission, the staff director may procure temporary and intermittent services to the same extent as is authorized by section 3109 (b) of Title 5, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for grade GS-15 of the general schedule (5 U. S. C. 5332).
(3) In carrying out its responsibilities under this Act, the Commission shall, to the fullest extent practicable, avail itself of the assistance, including personnel and facilities, of other agencies and departments of the United States Government. The heads of such agencies and departments may make available to the Commission such personnel, facilities, and other assistance, with or without reimbursement, as the Commission may request.
§ 437d. Powers of Commission.
(a) Specific enumeration.
The Commission has the power—
(b) Judicial orders for compliance with subpenas and orders of Commission; contempt of court.
Any United States district court within the jurisdiction of which any inquiry is carried on, may, upon petition by the Commission, in case of refusal to obey a subpena or order of the Commission issued under subsection (a) of this section, issue an order requiring compliance therewith. Any failure to obey the order of the
(c) Civil liability for disclosure of information.
No person shall be subject to civil liability to any person (other than the Commission or the United States) for disclosing information at the request of the Commission.
(d) Transmittal to Congress: Budget estimates or requests and legislative recommendations; prior transmittal to Congress: legislative recommendations.
(1) Whenever the Commission submits any budget estimate or request to the President of the United States or the Office of Management and Budget, it shall concurrently transmit a copy of such estimate or request to the Congress.
(2) Whenever the Commission submits any legislative recommendations, or testimony, or comments on legislation, requested by the Congress or by any Member of the Congress, to the President of the United States or the Office of Management and Budget, it shall concurrently transmit a copy thereof to the Congress or to the Member requesting the same. No officer or agency of the United States shall have any authority to require the Commission to submit its legislative recommendations, testimony, or comments on legislation, to any office or agency of the United States for approval, comments, or review, prior to the submission of such recommendations, testimony, or comments to the Congress.
§ 437e. Reports to President and Congress.
The Commission shall transmit reports to the President of the United States and to each House of the Congress no later than March 31 of each year. Each such report shall contain a detailed statement with respect to the activities of the Commission in carrying out its duties under this subchapter, together with recommendations
§ 437f. Advisory opinions.
(a) Written requests; written opinions within reasonable time; specific transactions or activities constituting violations of provisions.
Upon written request to the Commission by any individual holding Federal office, any candidate for Federal office, or any political committee, the Commission shall render an advisory opinion, in writing, within a reasonable time with respect to whether any specific transaction or activity by such individual, candidate, or political committee would constitute a violation of this Act, of chapter 95 or chapter 96 of Title 26 or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18.
(b) Presumption of compliance with provisions based on good faith actions.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person with respect to whom an advisory opinion is rendered under subsection (a) of this section who acts in good faith in accordance with the provisions and findings of such advisory opinion shall be presumed to be in compliance with the provision of this Act, of chapter 95 or chapter 96 of Title 26, or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18, with respect to which such advisory opinion is rendered.
(c) Requests made public; transmittal to Commission of comments of interested parties with respect to such requests.
Any request made under subsection (a) shall be made public by the Commission. The Commission shall before rendering an advisory opinion with respect to such request, provide any interested party with an opportunity to transmit written comments to the Commission with respect to such request.
(a) Violations; complaints and referrals; notification and investigation by Commission: venue, judicial orders; referral to law enforcement authorities: civil actions by Attorney General: venue, judicial orders, bond; subpenas; review by courts of appeals: time for petition, finality of judgment; review by Supreme Court; docket: advancement and priorities.
(1) (A) Any person who believes a violation of this Act or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18 has occurred may file a complaint with the Commission.
(B) In any case in which the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate (who receive reports and statements as custodian for the Commission) has reason to believe a violation of this act or section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18 has occurred he shall refer such apparent violation to the Commission.
(2) The Commission upon receiving any complaint under paragraph (1) (A), or a referral under paragraph (1) (B), or if it has reason to believe that any person has committed a violation of any such provision, shall notify the person involved of such apparent violation and shall—
(3) Any investigation under paragraph (2) (B) shall be conducted expeditiously and shall include an investigation of reports and statements filed by any complainant under this subchapter, if such complainant is a candidate. Any notification or investigation made under paragraph (2) shall not be made public by the Commission or by
(4) The Commission shall, at the request of any person who receives notice of an apparent violation under paragraph (2), conduct a hearing with respect to such apparent violation.
(5) If the Commission determines, after investigation, that there is reason to believe that any person has engaged, or is about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of this Act, it may endeavor to correct such violation by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion. If the Commission fails to correct the violation through informal methods, it may institute a civil action for relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or any other appropriate order in the district court of the United States for the district in which the person against whom such action is brought is found, resides, or transacts business. Upon a proper showing that such person has engaged or is about to engage in such acts or practices, the court shall grant a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order.
(6) The Commission shall refer apparent violations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities to the extent that violations of provisions of chapter 29 of Title 18 are involved, or if the Commission is unable to correct apparent violations of this Act under the authority given it by paragraph (5), or if the Commission determines that any such referral is appropriate.
(7) Whenever in the judgment of the Commission, after affording due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, any person has engaged or is about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of any provision of this Act or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18,
(8) In any action brought under paragraph (5) or (7) of this subsection, subpenas for witnesses who are required to attend a United States district court may run into any other district.
(9) Any party aggrieved by an order granted under paragraph (5) or (7) of this subsection may, at any time within 60 days after the date of entry thereof, file a petition with the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which such order was issued for judicial review of such order.
(10) The judgment of the court of appeals affirming or setting aside, in whole or in part, any such order of the district Court shall be final, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon certiorari or certification as provided in section 1254 of Title 28.
(11) Any action brought under this subsection shall be advanced on the docket of the court in which filed, and put ahead of all other actions (other than other actions brought under this subsection or under section 437h of this title).
(b) Reports of Attorney General to Commission respecting action taken; reports of Commission respecting status of referrals.
In any case in which the Commission refers an apparent violation to the Attorney General, the Attorney
§ 437h. Judicial review.
(a) Actions, including declaratory judgments, for construction of constitutional questions; eligible plaintiffs; certification of such questions to courts of appeals sitting en banc.
The Commission, the national committee of any political party, or any individual eligible to vote in any election for the office of President of the United States may institute such actions in the appropriate district court of the United States, including actions for declaratory judgment, as may be appropriate to construe the constitutionality of any provision of this Act or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18. The district court immediately shall certify all questions of constitutionality of this Act or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18, to the United States court of appeals for the circuit involved, which shall hear the matter sitting en banc.
(b) Appeal to Supreme Court; time for appeal.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any decision on a matter certified under subsection (a) of this section shall be reviewable by appeal directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Such appeal shall be brought no later than 20 days after the decision of the court of appeals.
(c) Advancement on appellate docket and expedited deposition of certified questions.
§ 438. Administrative and judicial provisions.
(a) Federal Election Commission; duties.
It shall be the duty of the Commission—
(b) Commission; duties: national clearinghouse for information; studies, scope, publication, copies to general public at cost. It shall be the duty of the Commission to serve as a national clearinghouse for information in respect to the administration of elections. In carrying out its duties under this subsection, the Commission shall enter into contracts for the purpose of conducting independent
Studies made under this subsection shall be published by the Commission and copies thereof shall be made available to the general public upon the payment of the cost thereof.
(c) Proposed rules or regulations; statement, transmittal to Congress; Presidential elections and Congressional elections; "legislative days" defined.
(a) "Appropriate State" defined. A copy of each statement required to be filed with the Commission by this subchapter shall be filed with the Secretary of State (or, if there is no office of Secretary of State, the equivalent State officer) of the appropriate State. For purposes of this subsection, the term "appropriate State" means—
(b) Duties of State officers. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, or the equivalent State officer, under subsection (a) of this section—
§ 439a. Use of contributed amounts for certain purposes; rules of Commission.
Amounts received by a candidate as contributions that are in excess of any amount necessary to defray his expenditures, and any other amounts contributed to an individual for the purpose of supporting his activities as a holder of Federal office, may be used by such candidate or individual, as the case may be, to defray any ordinary and necessary expenses incurred by him in connection with his duties as a holder of Federal office, may be contributed by him to any organization described in section 170 (c) of Title 26, or may be used for any other lawful purpose. To the extent any such contribution, amount contributed, or expenditure thereof is not otherwise required to be disclosed under the provisions of this subchapter, such contribution, amount contributed, or expenditure shall be fully disclosed in accordance with rules promulgated by the Commission. The Commission is authorized to prescribe such rules as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
§ 441. Penalties for violations.
(a) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
SUBCHAPTER II.—GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 454. Partial invalidity.
If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the Act and the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
§ 456. Additional enforcement authority.
(a) Findings, after notice and hearing, or failure to file timely reports; disqualification for prescribed period from candidacy in future Federal elections.
In any case in which the Commission, after notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record in accordance with section 554 of Title 5, makes a finding that a person who, while a candidate for Federal office, failed to file a report required by subchapter I of this chapter, and such finding is made before the expiration of the time within which the failure to file such report may be prosecuted as a violation of such subchapter I, such person shall be disqualified from becoming a candidate in any future election for Federal office for a period of time beginning on the date of such finding and ending one year after the expiration of the term of the Federal office for which such person was a candidate.
(b) Judicial review of findings.
Any finding by the Commission under subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of chapter 7 of Title 5.
TITLE 18. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 29—ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
§ 591. Definitions.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, when used in this section and in sections 597, 599, 600, 602, 608, 610, 611, 614, 615, and 617 of this title—
§ 608. Limitations on contributions and expenditures.
(a) Personal funds of candidate and family.
(b) Contributions by persons and committees.
(c) Limitations on expenditures.
(d) Adjustment of limitations based on price index.
(e) Expenditure relative to clearly identified candidate.
(f) Exceptions for national and State committees.
(g) Voting age population estimates. During the first week of January 1975, and every subsequent year, the Secretary of Commerce shall certify to the Commission and publish in the Federal Register an estimate of the voting age population of the United States, of each State, and of each congressional district as of the first day of July next preceding the date of certification. The term "voting age population" means resident population, 18 years of age or older.
(h) Knowing violations. No candidate or political committee shall knowingly accept any contribution or make any expenditure in violation of the provisions of this section. No officer or employee of a political committee shall knowingly accept a contribution made for the benefit or use of a candidate, or knowingly make any expenditure on behalf of a candidate, in violation of any limitation imposed on contributions and expenditures under this section.
(i) Penalties. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
§ 610. Contributions or expenditures by national banks, corporations or labor organizations.
It is unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation organized by authority of any law of Congress, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, or for any corporation whatever, or any labor organization to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election at which presidential and vice presidential electors or a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to Congress are to be voted for, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any of the foregoing offices, or for any candidate, political committee, or other person to accept or receive any contribution prohibited by this section.
Every corporation or labor organization which makes any contribution or expenditure in violation of this section shall be fined not more than $25,000; and every officer or director of any corporation, or officer of any labor organization, who consents to any contribution or expenditure by the corporation or labor organization, as the case may be, and any person who accepts or receives any contribution, in violation of this section, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than 2 years or both.
For the purposes of this section "labor organization" means any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exist for the purpose,
As used in this section, the phrase "contribution or expenditure" shall include any direct or indirect payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money, or any services, or anything of value (except a loan of money by a national or State bank made in accordance with the applicable banking laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business) to any candidate, campaign committee, or political party or organization, in connection with any election to any of the offices referred to in this section; but shall not include communications by a corporation to its stockholders and their families or by a labor organization to its members and their families on any subject; nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns by a corporation aimed at its stockholders and their families, or by a labor organization aimed at its members and their families; the establishment, administration, and solicitation of contributions to a separate segregated fund to be utilized for political purposes by a corporation or labor organization: Provided, That it shall be unlawful for such a fund to make a contribution or expenditure by utilizing money or anything of value secured by physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals, or the threat of force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal; or by dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment, or by monies obtained in any commercial transaction.
§ 611. Contributions by Government contractors.
shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
This section does not prohibit or make unlawful the establishment or administration of, or the solicitation of contributions to, any separate segregated fund by any corporation or labor organization for the purpose of influencing the nomination for election, or election, of any person to Federal office, unless the provisions of section 610 of this title prohibit or make unlawful the establishment or administration of, or the solicitation of contributions to, such fund.
For purposes of this section, the term "labor organization"
TITLE 26. INTERNAL REVENUE CODE
§ 6096. Designation by individuals.
(a) In general. Every individual (other than a non-resident alien) whose income tax liability for the taxable year is $1 or more may designate that $1 shall be paid over to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund in accordance with the provisions of section 9006 (a). In the case of a joint return of husband and wife having an income tax liability of $2 or more, each spouse may designate that $1 shall be paid to the fund.
(b) Income tax liability. For purposes of subsection (a), the income tax liability for an individual for any taxable year is the amount of the tax imposed by chapter 1 on such individual for such taxable year (as shown on his return), reduced by the sum of the credits (as shown in his return) allowable under sections 33, 37, 38, 40, and 41.
(c) Manner and time of designation. A designation under subsection (a) may be made with respect to any taxable year—
Such designation shall be made in such manner as the Secretary or his delegate prescribes by regulations except that, if such designation is made at the time of filing the return of the tax imposed by chapter 1 for such taxable year, such designation shall be made either on the
CHAPTER 95—PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUND
§ 9001. Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the "Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act."
§ 9002. Definitions.
For purposes of this chapter—
(1) The term "authorized committee" means, with respect to the candidates of a political party for President and Vice President of the United States, any political committee which is authorized in writing by such candidates to incur expenses to further the election of such candidates. Such authorization shall be addressed to the chairman of such political committee, and a copy of such authorization shall be filed by such candidates with the Commission. Any withdrawal of any authorization shall also be in writing and shall be addressed and filed in the same manner as the authorization.
(2) The term "candidate" means, with respect to any presidential election, an individual who—
For purposes of paragraphs (6) and (7) of this section and purposes of section 9004 (a) (2), the term "candidate" means, with respect to any preceding presidential
(3) The term "Commission" means the Federal Election Commission established by section 437c (a) (1) of Title 2, United States Code.
(4) The term "eligible candidates" means the candidates of a political party for President and Vice President of the United States who have met all applicable conditions for eligibility to receive payments under this chapter set forth in section 9003.
(5) The term "fund" means the Presidential Election Campaign Fund established by section 9006 (a).
(6) The term "major party" means, with respect to any presidential election, a political party whose candidate for the office of President in the preceding presidential election received, as the candidate of such party, 25 percent or more of the total number of popular votes received by all candidates for such office.
(7) The term "minor party" means, with respect to any presidential election, a political party whose candidate for the office of President in the preceding presidential election received, as the candidate of such party, 5 percent or more but less than 25 percent of the total number of popular votes received by all candidates for such office.
(8) The term "new party" means, with respect to any presidential election, a political party which is neither a major party nor a minor party.
(9) The term "political committee" means any committee, association, or organization (whether or not incorporated) which accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the purpose of influencing, or attempting to influence, the nomination or election of one or more individuals to Federal, State, or local elective public office.
(11) The term "qualified campaign expense" means an expense—
An expense shall be considered as incurred by a candidate or an authorized committee if it is incurred by a person authorized by such candidate or such committee, as the case may be, to incur such expense on behalf of such candidate or such committee. If an authorized committee of the candidates of a political party for
(12) The term "expenditure report period" with respect to any presidential election means—
§ 9003. Condition for eligibility for payments.
(a) In general. In order to be eligible to receive any payments under section 9006, the candidates of a political party in a presidential election shall, in writing—
(b) Major parties. In order to be eligible to receive any payments under section 9006, the candidates of a major party in a presidential election shall certify to the Commission, under penalty of perjury, that—
Such certification shall be made within such time prior to the day of the presidential election as the Commission shall prescribe by rules or regulations.
(c) Minor and new parties. In order to be eligible to receive any payments under section 9006, the candidates of a minor or new party in a presidential election shall certify to the Commission, under penalty of perjury, that—
Such certification shall be made within such time prior to the day of the presidential election as the Commission shall prescribe by rules or regulations.
§ 9004. Entitlement of eligible candidates to payments.
(a) In general. Subject to the provisions of this chapter—
(b) Limitations. The aggregate payments to which the eligible candidates of a political party shall be entitled
(c) Restrictions. The eligible candidates of a political party shall be entitled to payments under subsection (a) only—
§ 9005. Certification by Commission.
(a) Initial certifications. Not later than 10 days after the candidates of a political party for President and Vice President of the United States have met all applicable conditions for eligibility to receive payments under this chapter set forth in section 9003, the Commission shall certify to the Secretary for payment to such eligible candidates under section 9006 payment in full of amounts to which such candidates are entitled under section 9004.
§ 9006. Payments to eligible candidates.
(a) Establishment of campaign fund. There is hereby established on the books of the Treasury of the United States a special fund to be known as the "Presidential Election Campaign Fund." The Secretary shall, from time to time, transfer to the fund an amount not in excess of the sum of the amounts designated (subsequent to the previous Presidential election) to the fund by individuals under section 6096. There is appropriated to the fund for each fiscal year, out of amounts in the general fund of the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, an amount equal to the amounts so designated during each fiscal year, which shall remain available to the fund without fiscal year limitation.
(b) Transfer to the general fund. If, after a Presidential election and after all eligible candidates have been paid the amount which they are entitled to receive under this chapter, there are moneys remaining in the fund, the Secretary shall transfer the moneys so remaining to the general fund of the Treasury.
(c) Payments from the fund. Upon receipt of a certification from the Commission under section 9005 for payment to the eligible candidates of a political party, the Secretary shall pay to such candidates out of the fund the amount certified by the Commission. Amounts paid to any such candidates shall be under the control of such candidates.
(d) Insufficient amounts in fund. If at the time of a
§ 9007. Examinations and audits; repayments.
(a) Examinations and audits. After each presidential election, the Commission shall conduct a thorough examination and audit of the qualified campaign expenses of the candidates of each political party for President and Vice President.
(c) Notification. No notification shall be made by the Commission under subsection (b) with respect to a presidential election more than 3 years after the day of such election.
(d) Deposit of repayments. All payments received by the Secretary under subsection (b) shall be deposited by him in the general fund of the Treasury.
§ 9008. Payments for presidential nominating conventions.
(a) Establishment of accounts. The Secretary shall maintain in the fund, in addition to any account which he maintains under section 9006 (a), a separate account for the national committee of each major party and minor party. The Secretary shall deposit in each such account an amount equal to the amount which each such committee may receive under subsection (b). Such deposits shall be drawn from amounts designated by individuals under section 6096 and shall be made before any transfer is made to any account for any eligible candidate under section 9006 (a).
(b) Entitlement to payments from the fund.
(c) Use of funds. No part of any payment made under subsection (b) shall be used to defray the expenses
(d) Limitation of expenditures.
(e) Availability of payments. The national committee of a major party or minor party may receive payments under subsection (b) (3) beginning on July 1 of the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year in which a presidential nominating convention of the political party involved is held.
(f) Transfer to the fund. If, after the close of a presidential nominating convention and after the national committee of the political party involved has been paid the amount which it is entitled to receive under this section, there are moneys remaining in the account of such national committee, the Secretary shall transfer the moneys so remaining to the fund.
(g) Certification by Commission. Any major party or minor party may file a statement with the Commission in such form and manner and at such times as it may require, designating the national committee of such party. Such statement shall include the information required by section 433 (b) of Title 2, United States Code, together with such additional information as the Commission may require. Upon receipt of a statement filed under the preceding sentences, the Commission promptly shall verify such statement according to such procedures and criteria as it may establish and shall certify to the Secretary for payment in full to any such committee of amounts to which such committee may be entitled under subsection (b). Such certifications shall be subject to an examination and audit which the Commission shall conduct no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the presidential nominating convention involved is held.
(h) Repayments. The Commission shall have the same authority to require repayments from the national
§ 9009. Reports to Congress; regulations.
(a) Reports. The Commission shall, as soon as practicable after each presidential election, submit a full report to the Senate and House of Representatives setting forth—
Each report submitted pursuant to this section shall be printed as a Senate document.
(b) Regulations, etc. The Commission is authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c), to conduct such
(c) Review of regulations.
§ 9010. Participation by Commission in judicial proceedings.
(a) Appearance by counsel. The Commission is authorized to appear in and defend against any action filed under section 9011, either by attorneys employed in its office or by counsel whom it may appoint without regard to the provisions of Title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and
(b) Recovery of certain payments. The Commission is authorized through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a) to appear in the district courts of the United States to seek recovery of any amounts determined to be payable to the Secretary as a result of examination and audit made pursuant to section 9007.
(c) Declaratory and injunctive relief. The Commission is authorized through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a) to petition the courts of the United States for declaratory or injunctive relief concerning any civil matter covered by the provisions of this subtitle or section 6096. Upon application of the Commission an action brought pursuant to this subsection shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of Title 28, United States Code, and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. It shall be the duty of the judges designated to hear the case to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date, to participate in the hearing and determination thereof, and to cause the case to be in every way expedited.
(d) Appeal. The Commission is authorized on behalf of the United States to appeal from, and to petition the Supreme Court for certiorari to review, judgments or decrees entered with respect to actions in which it appears pursuant to the authority provided in this section.
§ 9011. Judicial review.
(a) Review of certification, determination, or other action by the Commission. Any certification, determination, or other action by the Commission made or taken pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to review by the United States Court of Appeals for
(b) Suits to implement chapter.
§ 9012. Criminal penalties.
CHAPTER 96—PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY MATCHING PAYMENT ACCOUNT
§ 9031. Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the "Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act."
§ 9032. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter—
§ 9033. Eligibility for payments.
(a) Conditions. To be eligible to receive payments under section 9037, a candidate shall, in writing—
(b) Expense limitation; declaration of intent; minimum contributions. To be eligible to receive payments under section 9037, a candidate shall certify to the Commission that—
§ 9034. Entitlement of eligible candidates to payments.
(a) In general. Every candidate who is eligible to receive payments under section 9033 is entitled to payments under section 9037 in an amount equal to the amount of each contribution received by such candidate on or after the beginning of the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year of the presidential election with respect to which such candidate is seeking nomination, or by his authorized committees, disregarding any amount of contributions from any person to the extent that the total of the amounts contributed by such person on or after the beginning of such preceding calendar year exceeds $250. For purposes of this subsection and section 9033 (b), the term "contribution" means a gift of money made by a written instrument which identifies
(b) Limitations. The total amount of payments to which a candidate is entitled under subsection (a) shall not exceed 50 percent of the expenditure limitation applicable under section 608 (c) (1) (A) of Title 18, United States Code.
§ 9035. Qualified campaign expense limitation.
No candidate shall knowingly incur qualified campaign expenses in excess of the expenditure limitation applicable under section 608 (c) (1) (A) of Title 18, United States Code.
§ 9036. Certification by Commission.
(a) Initial certifications. Not later than 10 days after a candidate establishes his eligibility under section 9033 to receive payments under section 9037, the Commission shall certify to the Secretary for payment to such candidate under section 9037 payment in full of amounts to which such candidate is entitled under section 9034. The Commission shall make such additional certifications as may be necessary to permit candidates to receive payments for contributions under section 9037.
(b) Finality of determinations. Initial certifications by the Commission under subsection (a), and all determinations made by it under this chapter, are final and conclusive, except to the extent that they are subject to examination and audit by the Commission under section 9038 and judicial review under section 9041.
§ 9037. Payments to eligible candidates.
(a) Establishment of account. The Secretary shall maintain in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund
(b) Payments from the matching payment account. Upon receipt of a certification from the Commission under section 9036, but not before the beginning of the matching payment period, the Secretary or his delegate shall promptly transfer the amount certified by the Commission from the matching payment account to the candidate. In making such transfers to candidates of the same political party, the Secretary or his delegate shall seek to achieve an equitable distribution of funds available under subsection (a), and the Secretary or his delegate shall take into account, in seeking to achieve an equitable distribution, the sequence in which such certifications are received.
§ 9038. Examinations and audits; repayments.
(a) Examinations and audits. After each matching payment period, the Commission shall conduct a thorough examination and audit of the qualified campaign expenses of every candidate and his authorized committees who received payments under section 9037.
(c) Notification. No notification shall be made by the Commission under subsection (b) with respect to a matching payment period more than 3 years after the end of such period.
§ 9039. Reports to Congress; regulations.
(a) Reports. The Commission shall, as soon as practicable after each matching payment period, submit a full report to the Senate and House of Representatives setting forth—
Each report submitted pursuant to this section shall be printed as a Senate document.
(b) Regulations, etc. The Commission is authorized to prescribe rules and regulations in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c), to conduct examinations and audits (in addition to the examinations and audits required by section 9038 (a)), to conduct investigations, and to require the keeping and submission of any books, records, and information, which it determines to be necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter.
(c) Review of regulations.
§ 9040. Participation by Commission in judicial proceedings.
(a) Appearance by counsel. The Commission is authorized to appear in and defend against any action instituted under this section, either by attorneys employed in its office or by counsel whom it may appoint without regard to the provisions of Title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and whose compensation it may fix without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title.
(b) Recovery of certain payments. The Commission is authorized, through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a), to institute actions in the district courts of the United States to seek recovery of any amounts determined to be payable to the Secretary or his delegate as a result of an examination and audit made pursuant to section 9038.
(d) Appeal. The Commission is authorized on behalf of the United States to appeal from, and to petition the Supreme Court for certiorari to review, judgments or decrees entered with respect to actions in which it appears pursuant to the authority provided in this section.
§ 9041. Judicial review.
(a) Review of agency action by the Commission. Any agency action by the Commission made under the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to review by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upon petition filed in such court within 30 days after the agency action by the Commission for which review is sought.
(b) Review procedures. The provisions of chapter 7 of Title 5, United States Code, apply to judicial review of any agency action, as defined in section 551 (13) of Title 5, United States Code, by the Commission.
§ 9042. Criminal penalties.
(a) Excess campaign expenses. Any person who violates the provisions of section 9035 shall be fined not more than $25,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. Any officer or member of any political committee who knowingly consents to any expenditure in violation of the provisions of section 9035 shall be fined not more than $25,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(b) Unlawful use of payments.
(c) False statements, etc.
(d) Kickbacks and illegal payments.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
For reasons set forth more fully later, I dissent from those parts of the Court's holding sustaining the statutory provisions (a) for disclosure of small contributions, (b) for limitations on contributions, and (c) for public financing of Presidential campaigns. In my view, the Act's disclosure scheme is impermissibly broad and violative of the First Amendment as it relates to reporting contributions in excess of $10 and $100. The contribution limitations infringe on First Amendment liberties and suffer from the same infirmities that the Court correctly sees in the expenditure ceilings. The system for public financing of Presidential campaigns is, in my judgment, an impermissible intrusion by the Government into the traditionally private political process.
More broadly, the Court's result does violence to the intent of Congress in this comprehensive scheme of campaign finance. By dissecting the Act bit by bit, and casting off vital parts, the Court fails to recognize that the whole of this Act is greater than the sum of its parts.
Disclosure is, in principle, the salutary and constitutional remedy for most of the ills Congress was seeking to alleviate. I therefore agree fully with the broad proposition that public disclosure of contributions by individuals and by entities—particularly corporations and labor unions—is an effective means of revealing the type of political support that is sometimes coupled with expectations of special favors or rewards. That disclosure impinges on First Amendment rights is conceded by the Court, ante, at 64-66, but given the objectives to which disclosure is directed, I agree that the need for disclosure outweighs individual constitutional claims.
Disclosure is, however, subject to First Amendment limitations which are to be defined by looking to the relevant public interests. The legitimate public interest is the elimination of the appearance and reality of corrupting influences. Serious dangers to the very processes of government justify disclosure of contributions of such dimensions reasonably thought likely to purchase special favors. These fears have been at the root of the Court's prior decisions upholding disclosure requirements, and I therefore have no disagreement, for example, with Burroughs v. United States, 290 U.S. 534 (1934).
The Court's theory, however, goes beyond permissible limits. Under the Court's view, disclosure serves broad informational purposes, enabling the public to be fully informed on matters of acute public interest. Forced disclosure of one aspect of a citizen's political activity,
Examples come readily to mind. Rank-and-file union members or rising junior executives may now think twice before making even modest contributions to a candidate who is disfavored by the union or management hierarchy. Similarly, potential contributors may well decline to take the obvious risks entailed in making a reportable contribution to the opponent of a well-entrenched incumbent. This fact of political life did not go unnoticed by the Congress:
The public right to know ought not be absolute when its exercise reveals private political convictions. Secrecy, like privacy, is not per se criminal. On the contrary, secrecy and privacy as to political preferences and convictions are fundamental in a free society. For example, one of the great political reforms was the advent of the secret ballot as a universal practice. Similarly, the enlightened labor legislation of our time has enshrined the secrecy of choice of a bargaining representative for
We all seem to agree that whatever the legitimate public interest in this area, proper analysis requires us to scrutinize the precise means employed to implement that interest. The balancing test used by the Court requires that fair recognition be given to competing interests. With respect, I suggest the Court has failed to give the traditional standing to some of the First Amendment values at stake here. Specifically, it has failed to confine the particular exercise of governmental power within limits reasonably required.
"Unduly" must mean not more than necessary, and until today, the Court has recognized this criterion in First Amendment cases:
Similarly, the Court has said:
In light of these views,
See, e. g., Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500 (1964); United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967); Lamont v. Postmaster General, supra. The Court's abrupt departure
Finally, no legitimate public interest has been shown in forcing the disclosure of modest contributions that are the prime support of new, unpopular, or unfashionable political causes. There is no realistic possibility that such modest donations will have a corrupting influence especially on parties that enjoy only "minor" status. Major parties would not notice them; minor parties need them. Furthermore, as the Court candidly recognizes, ante, at 70, minor parties and new parties tend to be sharply ideological in character, and the public can readily discern where such parties stand, without resorting to the indirect device of recording the names of financial supporters. To hold, as the Court has, that privacy must sometimes yield to congressional investigations of alleged subversion, is quite different from making domestic political
I would therefore hold unconstitutional the provisions requiring reporting of contributions of more than $10 and to make a public record of the name, address, and occupation of a contributor of more than $100.
CONTRIBUTION AND EXPENDITURE LIMITS
I agree fully with that part of the Court's opinion that holds unconstitutional the limitations the Act puts on campaign expenditures which "place substantial and direct restrictions on the ability of candidates, citizens, and associations to engage in protected political expression, restrictions that the First Amendment cannot tolerate." Ante, at 58-59. Yet when it approves similarly stringent limitations on contributions, the Court ignores the reasons it finds so persuasive in the context of expenditures. For me contributions and expenditures are two sides of the same First Amendment coin.
By limiting campaign contributions, the Act restricts the amount of money that will be spent on political activity
The Court attempts to separate the two communicative aspects of political contributions—the "moral" support that the gift itself conveys, which the Court suggests is the same whether the gift is $10 or $10,000,
The Court's attempt to distinguish the communication inherent in political contributions from the speech aspects of political expenditures simply "will not wash." We do little but engage in word games unless we recognize that people—candidates and contributors—spend money on political activity because they wish to communicate ideas, and their constitutional interest in doing so is precisely the same whether they or someone else utters the words.
The Court attempts to make the Act seem less restrictive by casting the problem as one that goes to freedom of association rather than freedom of speech. I have long thought freedom of association and freedom of expression were two peas from the same pod. The contribution limitations of the Act impose a restriction on certain forms of associational activity that are for the most part, as the Court recognizes, ante, at 29, harmless in fact. And the restrictions are hardly incidental in their effect upon particular campaigns. Judges are ill-equipped to gauge the precise impact of legislation, but a law that impinges upon First Amendment rights requires us to make the attempt. It is not simply speculation to think that the limitations on contributions will foreclose some candidacies.
After a bow to the "weighty interests" Congress meant to serve, the Court then forsakes this analysis in one sentence: "Congress was surely entitled to conclude that disclosure was only a partial measure, and that contribution ceilings were a necessary legislative concomitant to deal with the reality or appearance of corruption . . . ." Ante, at 28. In striking down the limitations on campaign expenditures, the Court relies in part on its conclusion that other means—namely, disclosure and contribution ceilings—will adequately serve the statute's aim. It is not clear why the same analysis is not also appropriate in weighing the need for contribution ceilings in addition to disclosure requirements. Congress may well be
Finally, it seems clear to me that in approving these limitations on contributions the Court must rest upon the proposition that "pooling" money is fundamentally different from other forms of associational or joint activity. But see ante, at 66. I see only two possible ways in which money differs from volunteer work, endorsements, and the like. Money can be used to buy favors, because an unscrupulous politician can put it to personal use; second, giving money is a less visible form of associational activity. With respect to the first problem, the Act does not attempt to do any more than the bribery laws to combat this sort of corruption. In fact, the Act does not reach at all, and certainly the contribution limits do not reach, forms of "association" that can be fully as corrupt as a contribution intended as a quid pro quo— such as the eleventh-hour endorsement by a former rival, obtained for the promise of a federal appointment. This underinclusiveness is not a constitutional flaw, but it demonstrates that the contribution limits do not clearly focus on this first distinction. To the extent Congress thought that the second problem, the lesser visibility of contributions, required that money be treated differently from other forms of associational activity, disclosure laws are the simple and wholly efficacious answer; they make the invisible apparent.
I dissent from Part III sustaining the constitutionality of the public financing provisions of Subtitle H.
Since the turn of this century when the idea of Government
The Court chooses to treat this novel public financing of political activity as simply another congressional appropriation whose validity is "necessary and proper" to Congress' power to regulate and reform elections and primaries, relying on United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941), and Burroughs v. United States, 290 U.S. 534 (1934). No holding of this Court is directly in point, because no federal scheme allocating public funds in a comparable manner has ever been before us. The uniqueness of the plan is not relevant, of course, to whether Congress has power to enact it. Indeed, I do not question the power of Congress to regulate elections; nor do I
I would, however, fault the Court for not adequately analyzing and meeting head on the issue whether public financial assistance to the private political activity of individual citizens and parties is a legitimate expenditure of public funds. The public monies at issue here are not being employed simply to police the integrity of the electoral process or to provide a forum for the use of all participants in the political dialogue, as would, for example, be the case if free broadcast time were granted. Rather, we are confronted with the Government's actual financing, out of general revenues, a segment of the political debate itself. As Senator Howard Baker remarked during the debate on this legislation:
If this "incest" affected only the issue of the wisdom of the plan, it would be none of the concern of judges. But, in my view, the inappropriateness of subsidizing, from general revenues, the actual political dialogue of the people—the process which begets the Government itself— is as basic to our national tradition as the separation of church and state also deriving from the First Amendment, see Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 612 (1971); Walz v. Tax Comm'n, 397 U.S. 664, 668-669 (1970),
Recent history shows dangerous examples of systems with a close, "incestuous" relationship between "government" and "politics"; the Court's opinion simply dismisses possible dangers by noting that:
Congress, it reassuringly adds by way of a footnote, has expressed its determination to avoid such a possibility.
Assuming, arguendo, that Congress could validly appropriate public money to subsidize private political activity, it has gone about the task in Subtitle H in a manner which is not, in my view, free of constitutional infirmity.
I agree with MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST that the scheme approved by the Court today invidiously discriminates against minor parties. Assuming, arguendo, the constitutionality of the overall scheme, there is a legitimate governmental interest in requiring a group to make a "preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support." Jenness v. Fortson, 403 U.S. 431, 442 (1971). But the present system could preclude or severely hamper access to funds before a given election by a group or an individual who might, at the time of the election, reflect the views of a major segment or even a majority of the electorate. The fact that there have been few drastic realignments in our basic two-party structure in 200 years is no constitutional justification for freezing the status quo of the present major parties at the expense of such future political movements. Cf. discussion, ante, at 73. When and if some minority party achieves majority status, Congress can readily deal with any problems that arise. In short, I see grave risks in legislation, enacted by incumbents of the major political parties, which distinctly disadvantages minor parties or independent candidates. This Court has, until today, been particularly cautious when dealing with enactments that tend to perpetuate those who control legislative power. See Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 570 (1964).
I would also find unconstitutional the system of
I cannot join in the attempt to determine which parts of the Act can survive review here. The statute as it now stands is unworkable and inequitable.
I agree with the Court's holding that the Act's restrictions on expenditures made "relative to a clearly identified candidate," independent of any candidate or his committee, are unconstitutional. Ante, at 39-51. Paradoxically the Court upholds the limitations on individual contributions, which embrace precisely the same sort of expenditures "relative to a clearly identified candidate" if those expenditures are "authorized or requested" by the "candidate or his agents." Ante, at 24 n. 25. The Act as cut back by the Court thus places intolerable pressure on the distinction between "authorized" and "unauthorized" expenditures on behalf of a candidate; even those with the most sanguine hopes for the Act might well concede that the distinction cannot be maintained. As the Senate Report on the bill said:
Given the unfortunate record of past attempts to draw distinctions of this kind, see ante, at 61-62, it is not too much to predict that the Court's holding will invite avoidance, if not evasion, of the intent of the Act, with "independent" committees undertaking "unauthorized" activities in order to escape the limits on contributions. The Court's effort to blend First Amendment principles and practical politics has produced a strange offspring.
Moreover, the Act—or so much as the Court leaves standing—creates significant inequities. A candidate with substantial personal resources is now given by the Court a clear advantage over his less affluent opponents, who are constrained by law in fundraising, because the Court holds that the "First Amendment cannot tolerate" any restrictions on spending. Ante, at 59. Minority parties, whose situation is difficult enough under an Act that excludes them from public funding, are prevented from accepting large single-donor contributions. At the same time the Court sustains the provision aimed at broadening the base of political support by requiring candidates to seek a greater number of small contributors, it sustains the unrealistic disclosure thresholds of $10 and $100 that I believe will deter those hoped-for small contributions. Minor parties must now compete for votes against two major parties whose expenditures will be vast. Finally, the Act's distinction between contributions in money and contributions in services remains, with only the former being subject to any limits. As Judge Tamm put it in dissent from the Court of Appeals' opinion:
One need not call problems of this order equal protection violations to recognize that the contribution limitations of the Act create grave inequities that are aggravated by the Court's interpretation of the Act.
The Court's piecemeal approach fails to give adequate consideration to the integrated nature of this legislation. A serious question is raised, which the Court does not consider:
Although the statute contains a severability clause, 2 U. S. C. § 454 (1970 ed., Supp. IV), such a clause is not an "inexorable command."
Finally, I agree with the Court that the members of the Federal Election Commission were unconstitutionally appointed. However, I disagree that we should give blanket de facto validation to all actions of the Commission undertaken until today. The issue is not before us and we cannot know what acts we are ratifying. I would leave this issue to the District Court to resolve if and when any challenges are brought.
In the past two decades the Court has frequently
To accept this generalization one need not agree that the Amendment has its "fullest and most urgent application" only in the political area, for others would think religious freedom is on the same or even a higher plane. But I doubt that the Court would tolerate for an instant a limitation on contributions to a church or other religious cause; however grave an "evil" Congress thought the limits would cure, limits on religious expenditures would most certainly fall as well. To limit either contributions or expenditures as to churches would plainly restrict "the free exercise" of religion. In my view Congress can no more ration political expression than it can ration religious expression; and limits on political or religious contributions and expenditures effectively curb expression in both areas. There are many prices we pay for the freedoms secured by the First Amendment; the risk of undue
MR. JUSTICE WHITE, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I concur in the Court's answers to certified questions 1, 2, 3 (b), 3 (c), 3 (e), 3 (f), 3 (h), 5, 6, 7 (a), 7 (b), 7 (c), 7 (d), 8 (a), 8 (b), 8 (c), 8 (d), 8 (e), and 8 (f). I dissent from the answers to certified questions 3 (a), 3 (d), and 4 (a). I also join in Part III of the Court's opinion and in much of Parts I-B, II, and IV.
It is accepted that Congress has power under the Constitution to regulate the election of federal officers, including the President and the Vice President. This includes the authority to protect the elective processes against the "two great natural and historical enemies of all republics, open violence and insidious corruption," Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, 658 (1884); for "[i]f this government is anything more than a mere aggregation of delegated agents of other States and governments, each of which is superior to the general government, it must have the power to protect the elections on which its existence depends from violence and corruption," the latter being the consequence of "the free use of money in elections, arising from the vast growth of recent wealth . . . ." Id., at 657-658, 667.
This teaching from the last century was quoted at length and reinforced in Burroughs v. United States, 290 U.S. 534, 546-548 (1934). In that case the Court sustained the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, Title III of the Act of Feb. 28, 1925, 43 Stat. 1070, which, among other things, required political committees to keep
Pursuant to this undoubted power of Congress to vindicate the strong public interest in controlling corruption and other undesirable uses of money in connection with election campaigns, the Federal Election Campaign Act substantially broadened the reporting and disclosure requirements that so long have been a part of the federal law. Congress also concluded that limitations on contributions and expenditures were essential if the aims of the Act were to be achieved fully. In another major innovation, aimed at insulating candidates from the time-consuming and entangling task of raising huge sums of
The disclosure requirements and the limitations on contributions and expenditures are challenged as invalid abridgments of the right of free speech protected by the First Amendment. I would reject these challenges. I agree with the Court's conclusion and much of its opinion with respect to sustaining the disclosure provisions. I am also in agreement with the Court's judgment upholding the limitations on contributions. I dissent, however, from the Court's view that the expenditure limitations of 18 U. S. C. §§ 608 (c) and (e) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate the First Amendment.
Concededly, neither the limitations on contributions nor those on expenditures directly or indirectly purport to control the content of political speech by candidates or by their supporters or detractors. What the Act regulates is giving and spending money, acts that have First Amendment significance not because they are themselves communicative with respect to the qualifications of the candidate, but because money may be used to defray the expenses of speaking or otherwise communicating about the merits or demerits of federal candidates for election. The act of giving money to political candidates, however, may have illegal or other undesirable consequences: it may be used to secure the express or tacit understanding that the giver will enjoy political favor if the candidate is elected. Both Congress and this Court's cases have recognized this as a mortal danger against which effective preventive and curative steps must be taken.
Since the contribution and expenditure limitations are neutral as to the content of speech and are not motivated by fear of the consequences of the political speech
Despite its seeming struggle with the standard by which to judge this case, this is essentially the question the Court asks and answers in the affirmative with respect to the limitations on contributions which individuals and political committees are permitted to make to federal candidates. In the interest of preventing undue influence that large contributors would have or that the public might think they would have, the Court upholds the provision that an individual may not give to a candidate, or spend on his behalf if requested or authorized by the candidate to do so, more than $1,000 in any one election. This limitation is valid although it imposes a low ceiling on what individuals may deem to be their most effective means of supporting or speaking on behalf of the candidate—i. e., financial support given directly to the candidate. The Court thus accepts the congressional judgment that the evils of unlimited contributions are sufficiently threatening to warrant restriction regardless of the impact of the limits on the contributor's opportunity for effective speech and in turn on the total volume of the candidate's political communications by reason of his inability to accept large sums from those willing to give.
The congressional judgment, which I would also accept, was that other steps must be taken to counter the corrosive effects of money in federal election campaigns. One of these steps is § 608 (e), which, aside from those funds that are given to the candidate or spent at his
It would make little sense to me, and apparently made none to Congress, to limit the amounts an individual may give to a candidate or spend with his approval but fail to limit the amounts that could be spent on his behalf. Yet the Court permits the former while striking down the latter limitation. No more than $1,000 may be given to a candidate or spent at his request or with his approval or cooperation; but otherwise, apparently, a contributor is to be constitutionally protected in spending unlimited amounts of money in support of his chosen candidate or candidates.
Let us suppose that each of two brothers spends $1 million on TV spot announcements that he has individually prepared and in which he appears, urging the election of the same named candidate in identical words. One brother has sought and obtained the approval of the candidate; the other has not. The former may validly be prosecuted under § 608 (e); under the Court's view, the latter may not, even though the candidate could scarcely help knowing about and appreciating the expensive favor. For constitutional purposes it is difficult to see the difference between the two situations. I would take the word of those who know—that limiting
In sustaining the contribution limits, the Court recognizes the importance of avoiding public misapprehension about a candidate's reliance on large contributions. It ignores that consideration in invalidating § 608 (e). In like fashion, it says that Congress was entitled to determine that the criminal provisions against bribery and corruption, together with the disclosure provisions, would not in themselves be adequate to combat the evil and that limits on contributions should be provided. Here, the Court rejects the identical kind of judgment made by Congress as to the need for and utility of expenditure limits. I would not do so.
The Court also rejects Congress' judgment manifested in § 608 (c) that the federal interest in limiting total campaign expenditures by individual candidates justifies the incidental effect on their opportunity for effective political speech. I disagree both with the Court's assessment of the impact on speech and with its narrow view of the values the limitations will serve.
Proceeding from the maxim that "money talks," the Court finds that the expenditure limitations will seriously curtail political expression by candidates and interfere substantially with their chances for election. The Court concludes that the Constitution denies Congress the power to limit campaign expenses; federal candidates— and I would suppose state candidates, too—are to have the constitutional right to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in quest of their own election.
As an initial matter, the argument that money is speech and that limiting the flow of money to the speaker violates the First Amendment proves entirely too much. Compulsory bargaining and the right to strike, both provided for or protected by federal law, inevitably have
In any event, as it should be unnecessary to point out, money is not always equivalent to or used for speech, even in the context of political campaigns. I accept the reality that communicating with potential voters is the heart of an election campaign and that widespread communication has become very expensive. There are, however, many expensive campaign activities that are not themselves communicative or remotely related to speech. Furthermore, campaigns differ among themselves. Some seem to spend much less money than others and yet communicate as much as or more than those supported by enormous bureaucracies with unlimited financing. The record before us no more supports the conclusion that the communicative efforts of congressional and Presidential candidates will be crippled by the expenditure limitations than it supports the contrary. The judgment of Congress was that reasonably effective campaigns could be conducted within the limits established by the Act and that the communicative efforts of these campaigns would not seriously suffer. In this posture
In the first place, expenditure ceilings reinforce the contribution limits and help eradicate the hazard of corruption. The Court upholds the overall limit of $25,000 on an individual's political contributions in a single election year on the ground that it helps reinforce the limits on gifts to a single candidate. By the same token, the expenditure limit imposed on candidates plays its own role in lessening the chance that the contribution ceiling will be violated. Without limits on total expenditures, campaign costs will inevitably and endlessly escalate. Pressure to raise funds will constantly build and with it the temptation to resort in "emergencies" to those sources of large sums, who, history shows, are sufficiently confident of not being caught to risk flouting contribution limits. Congress would save the candidate from this predicament by establishing a reasonable ceiling on all candidates. This is a major consideration in favor of the limitation. It should be added that many successful candidates will also be saved from large, overhanging campaign debts which must be paid off with money raised while holding public office and at a time when they are already preparing or thinking about the next campaign. The danger to the public interest in such situations is self-evident.
Besides backing up the contribution provisions, which are aimed at preventing untoward influence on candidates that are elected, expenditure limits have their own potential for preventing the corruption of federal elections themselves. For many years the law has required the disclosure of expenditures as well as contributions. As Burroughs indicates, the corrupt use of money by candidates
I have little doubt in addition that limiting the total that can be spent will ease the candidate's understandable obsession with fundraising, and so free him and his staff to communicate in more places and ways unconnected with the fundraising function. There is nothing objectionable—indeed it seems to me a weighty interest in favor of the provision—in the attempt to insulate the political expression of federal candidates from the influence inevitably exerted by the endless job of raising increasingly large sums of money. I regret that the Court has returned them all to the treadmill.
It is also important to restore and maintain public confidence in federal elections. It is critical to obviate or dispel the impression that federal elections are purely and simply a function of money, that federal offices are bought and sold or that political races are reserved for those who have the facility—and the stomach—for doing whatever it takes to bring together those interests, groups, and individuals that can raise or contribute large fortunes in order to prevail at the polls.
The ceiling on candidate expenditures represents the considered judgment of Congress that elections are to be decided among candidates none of whom has overpowering advantage by reason of a huge campaign war chest. At least so long as the ceiling placed upon the candidates
I also disagree with the Court's judgment that § 608 (a), which limits the amount of money that a candidate or his family may spend on his campaign, violates the Constitution. Although it is true that this provision does not promote any interest in preventing the corruption of candidates, the provision does, nevertheless, serve salutary purposes related to the integrity of federal campaigns. By limiting the importance of personal wealth, § 608 (a) helps to assure that only individuals with a modicum of support from others will be viable candidates. This in turn would tend to discourage any notion that the outcome of elections is primarily a function of money. Similarly, § 608 (a) tends to equalize access to the political arena, encouraging the less wealthy, unable to bankroll their own campaigns, to run for political office.
As with the campaign expenditure limits, Congress was entitled to determine that personal wealth ought to play a less important role in political campaigns than it has in the past. Nothing in the First Amendment stands in the way of that determination.
For these reasons I respectfully dissent from the Court's answers to certified questions 3 (a), 3 (d), and 4 (a).
I join the answers in Part IV of the Court's opinion, ante, at 141-142, n. 177, to the questions certified by the District Court relating to the composition and powers of the FEC, i. e., questions 8 (a), 8 (b), 8 (c), 8 (d) (with the qualifications stated infra, at 282-286), 8 (e), and 8 (f). I also agree with much of that part of the Court's opinion, including the conclusions that these questions are properly before us and ripe for decision, that the FEC's past acts are de facto valid, that the Court's judgment should be stayed, and that the FEC may function de facto while the stay is in effect.
The answers to the questions turn on whether the FEC is illegally constituted because its members were not selected in the manner required by Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, the Appointments Clause. It is my view that with one exception Congress could endow a properly constituted commission with the powers and duties it has given the FEC.
Section 437c creates an eight-member FEC. Two members, the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, are ex officio members
It is apparent that none of the members of the FEC is selected in a manner Art. II specifies for the appointment of officers of the United States. The Appointments Clause provides:
Although two of the members of the FEC are initially selected by the President, his nominations are subject to confirmation by both Houses of Congress. Neither
The Appointments Clause applies only to officers of the United States whose appointment is not "otherwise provided for" in the Constitution. Senators and Congressmen are officers of the United States, but the Constitution expressly provides the mode of their selection.
The appointment power provided in Art. II also applies only to officers, as distinguished from employees,
The functions and duties of the FEC relate to three different aspects of the election laws: First, the provisions of the Criminal Code, 18 U. S. C. §§ 608-617 (1970 ed., Supp. IV), which establish major substantive limitations on political contributions and expenditures by individuals, political organizations, and candidates; second, the reporting and disclosure provisions contained in 2 U. S. C. §§ 431-437b (1970 ed., Supp. IV), these sections requiring the filing of detailed reports of political contributions and expenditures; and third, the provisions of 26 U. S. C. §§ 9001-9042 (1970 ed., Supp. IV) with respect to the public financing of Presidential primary and general election campaigns. From the "representative examples of [the FEC's] various powers" the Court describes, ante, at 109-113, it is plain that the FEC is the primary agency for the enforcement and administration of major parts of the election laws. It does not replace or control the executive agencies with respect to criminal prosecutions, but within the wide zone of its authority the FEC is independent of executive as well as congressional control except insofar as certain of its regulations must be laid before and not be disapproved by Congress. § 438 (c); 26 U. S. C. §§ 9009 (c), 9039 (c) (1970 ed., Supp. IV). With duties and functions such as these, members of the FEC are plainly "officers of the United States" as that term is used in Art. II, § 2, cl. 2.
It is thus not surprising that the FEC, in defending the legality of its members' appointments, does not deny that they are "officers of the United States" as that term is used in the Appointments Clause of Art. II.
The language of the Appointments Clause was not mere inadvertence. The matter of the appointment of officers of the new Federal Government was repeatedly debated by the Framers, and the final formulation of the Clause arrived at only after the most careful debate and consideration of its place in the overall design of government. The appointment power was a major building block fitted into the constitutional structure designed to avoid the accumulation or exercise of arbitrary power by the Federal Government. The basic approach was that official power should be divided among the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Departments. The separation-of-powers principle was implemented by a series of provisions, among which was the knowing decision that Congress was to have no power whatsoever to appoint federal officers, except for the power of each House to appoint its own officers serving in the strictly legislative
The decision to give the President the exclusive power to initiate appointments was thoughtful and deliberate. The Framers were attempting to structure three departments of government so that each would have affirmative powers strong enough to resist the encroachment of the others. A fundamental tenet was that the same persons should not both legislate and administer the laws.
Early in the 1787 Convention it was also proposed that members of Congress be absolutely ineligible during the term for which they were elected, and for a period thereafter, for appointment to any state or federal office.
Immediately upon settling the ineligibility provision, the Framers returned to the appointment power which they had several times before debated and postponed for later consideration.
Under Art. II as finally adopted, law enforcement authority was not to be lodged in elected legislative officials subject to political pressures. Neither was the Legislative Branch to have the power to appoint those who were to enforce and administer the law. Also, the appointment power denied Congress and vested in the President was not limited to purely executive officers but reached officers performing purely judicial functions as well as all other officers of the United States.
I thus find singularly unpersuasive the proposition that because the FEC is implementing statutory policies with respect to the conduct of elections, which policies Congress has the power to propound, its members may be appointed by Congress. One might as well argue that the exclusive and plenary power of Congress over interstate commerce authorizes Congress to appoint the members of the Interstate Commerce Commission and of many other regulatory commissions; that its exclusive power to provide for patents and copyrights would permit the administration of the patent laws to be carried out by a congressional committee; or that the exclusive power of the Federal Government to establish post offices authorizes
Congress clearly has the power to create federal offices and to define the powers and duties of those offices, Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 128-129 (1926), but no case in this Court even remotely supports the power of Congress to appoint an officer of the United States aside from those officers each House is authorized by Art. I to appoint to assist in the legislative processes.
In Myers, a postmaster of the first class was removed by the President prior to the expiration of his statutory four-year term. Challenging the President's power to remove him contrary to the statute, he sued for his salary. The challenge was rejected here. The Court said that under the Constitution the power to appoint the principal officers of the Executive Branch was an inherent power of the President:
Further, absent express limitation in the Constitution, the President was to have unrestricted power to remove those administrative officers essential to him in discharging his duties. These fundamental rules were to extend to those bureau and department officers with power to issue regulations and to discharge duties of a quasi-judicial nature—those members of "executive tribunal whose decisions after hearing affect interests of individuals." Id., at 135. As for inferior officers such as the plaintiff postmaster, the same principles were to govern if Congress chose to place the appointment in the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, as
Humphrey's Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935), limited the reach of the Myers case. There the President attempted to remove a member of the Federal Trade Commission prior to the expiration of his statutory term and for reasons not specified in the statute. The Court ruled that the Presidential removal power vindicated in Myers related solely to "purely executive officers," 295 U. S., at 628, from whom the Court sharply distinguished officers such as the members of the Federal Trade Commission who were to be free from political dominance and control, whose duties are "neither political nor executive, but predominantly quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative." Id., at 624. Contrary to the dicta in Myers, such an officer was thought to occupy "no place in the executive department," to exercise "no part of the executive power vested by the Constitution in the President," 295 U. S., at 628, and to be immune from removal by the President except on terms specified by Congress. The Commissioners were described as being
The holding in Humphrey's Executor was confirmed in Wiener v. United States, 357 U.S. 349 (1958), but the Court did not question what Humphrey's Executor had expressly recognized—that members of independent agencies are not independent of the Executive with respect to their appointments. Nor did either Wiener or Humphrey's Executor suggest that Congress could not only create the independent agency, specify its duties, and control the grounds for removal of its members but could also itself appoint or remove them without the participation of the Executive Branch of the Government. To have so held would have been contrary to the Appointments Clause as the Myers case recognized.
It is said that historically Congress has used its own officers to receive and file the reports of campaign expenditures and contributions as required by law and that this Court should not interfere with this practice. But the Act before us creates a separate and independent campaign commission with members, some nominated by the President, who have specified terms of office, are not subject to removal by Congress, and are free from congressional control in their day-to-day functions. The FEC, it is true, is the designated authority with which candidates and political committees must file reports of contributions and expenditures, as required by the Act. But the FEC may also make rules and regulations with respect to the disclosure requirements, may investigate reported violations, issue subpoenas, hold its own hearings
Nor do the FEC's functions stop with policing the reporting and disclosure requirements of the Act. The FEC is given express power to administer, obtain compliance with, and "to formulate general policy"
It is apparent that the FEC is charged with the enforcement of the election laws in major respects. Indeed, except for the conduct of criminal proceedings, it would appear that the FEC has the entire responsibility for enforcement of the statutes at issue here. By no stretch of the imagination can its various functions in this respect be considered mere adjuncts to the legislative process or to the powers of Congress to judge the election and qualifications of its own members.
It is suggested, without accounting for the President's role in appointing some of its members, that the FEC would be willing to forgo its civil enforcement powers and that absent these functions, it is left with nothing that purely legislative officers may not do. The difficulty is that the statute invests the FEC not only with the authority but with the duties that unquestionably make its members officers of the United States, fully as much as the members of other commissions charged with the major responsibility for administering statutes. What is more, merely forgoing its authority to bring suit would still leave the FEC with the power to issue rules and regulations, its advisory opinion authority, and primary duties to enforce the Act. Absent notice and hearing by the FEC and a request on its part, it would not appear that the Executive Branch of the Government would have any authority under the statute to institute civil enforcement proceedings with respect to the reporting and disclosure requirements or the relevant provisions of Titles 18 and 26.
There is no doubt that the development of the administrative
I do not dispute the legislative power of Congress coercively to gather and make available for public inspection massive amounts of information relevant to the legislative process. Its own officers may, as they have
For these reasons I join in the Court's answers to certified questions 8 (a), 8 (b), 8 (c), 8 (e) and 8 (f), and with the following reservations to question 8 (d).
Question 8 (d) asks whether § 438 (c) violates the constitutional rights of one or more of the plaintiffs in that "it empowers the Federal Election Commission to make rules under the F. E. C. A. in the manner specified therein." Section 438 (c) imposes certain preconditions to the effectiveness of "any rule or regulation under this section . . . ," but does not itself authorize the issuance of rules or regulations. That authorization is to be found in § 438 (a) (10), which includes among the duties of the FEC the task of prescribing "rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this subchapter, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c)." The "subchapter" referred to is the subchapter dealing with federal election campaigns and the reports of contributions and expenditures required to be filed with the FEC.
By expressly referring to subsection (c), question 8 (d) appears to focus on the disapproval requirement; but the Court's answer is not responsive in these terms. Rather, the Court expressly disclaims holding that the FEC's rules and regulations are invalid because of the requirement that they are subject to disapproval by one or both Houses of Congress. Ante, at 140 n. 176. As I understand it, the FEC's rules and regulations, whether or not issued in compliance with § 438 (c), are invalid because the members of the FEC have not been appointed in accordance with Art. II. To the extent that this is the basis for the Court's answer to the question, I am in agreement.
If the FEC members had been nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate as provided in Art. II,
I am also of the view that the otherwise valid regulatory power of a properly created independent agency is not rendered constitutionally infirm, as violative of the President's veto power, by a statutory provision subjecting agency regulations to disapproval by either House of Congress. For a bill to become law it must pass both Houses and be signed by the President or be passed over his veto. Also, "Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary . . ." is likewise subject to the veto power.
In terms of the substantive content of regulations and the degree of congressional influence over agency lawmaking, I do not suggest that there is no difference between the situation where regulations are subject to disapproval by Congress and the situation where the agency need not run the congressional gantlet. But the President's veto power, which gives him an important role in the legislative process, was obviously not considered an inherently executive function. Nor was its principal aim to provide another check against poor legislation. The major purpose of the veto power appears to have been to shore up the Executive Branch and to provide it with some bargaining and survival power against what the Framers feared would be the overweening power of legislators. As Hamilton said the veto power was to provide a defense against the legislative department's intrusion on the rights and powers of other departments; without such power, "the legislative and executive powers might speedily come to be blended in the same hands."
I would be much more concerned if Congress purported to usurp the functions of law enforcement, to control the outcome of particular adjudications, or to pre-empt the President's appointment power; but in the
MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I join in all of the Court's opinion except Part I-C-2, which deals with 18 U. S. C. § 608 (a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV). That section limits the amount a candidate may spend from his personal funds, or family funds under his control, in connection with his campaigns during any calendar year. See ante, at 51-52, n. 57. The Court invalidates § 608 (a) as violative of the candidate's First Amendment rights. "[T]he First Amendment," the Court explains, "simply cannot tolerate § 608 (a)'s restriction upon the freedom of a candidate to speak without legislative limit on behalf of his own candidacy." Ante, at 54. I disagree.
To be sure, § 608 (a) affects the candidate's exercise of his First Amendment rights. But unlike the other expenditure limitations contained in the Act and invalidated by the Court—the limitation on independent expenditures relative to a clearly identified candidate, § 608 (e), and the limitations on overall candidate expenditures, § 608 (c)—the limitations on expenditures by candidates from personal resources contained in § 608 (a) need never prevent the speaker from spending another
It is significant, moreover, that the ceilings imposed by § 608 (a) on candidate expenditures from personal resources are substantially higher than the $1,000 limit imposed by § 608 (e) on independent expenditures by noncandidates. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates may contribute $50,000 of their own money to their campaigns, Senate candidates $35,000, and most House candidates $25,000. Those ceilings will not affect most candidates. But they will admittedly limit the availability of personal funds for some candidates, and the question is whether that limitation is justified.
The Court views "[t]he ancillary interest in equalizing the relative financial resources of candidates" as the relevant rationale for § 608 (a), and deems that interest insufficient to justify § 608 (a). Ante, at 54. In my view the interest is more precisely the interest in promoting the reality and appearance of equal access to the political arena. Our ballot-access decisions serve as a reminder of the importance of the general interest in promoting equal access among potential candidates. See, e. g., Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709 (1974); Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134 (1972). While admittedly those cases dealt with barriers to entry different from those we consider here, the barriers to which § 608 (a) is directed
One of the points on which all Members of the Court agree is that money is essential for effective communication in a political campaign. It would appear to follow that the candidate with a substantial personal fortune at his disposal is off to a significant "headstart." Of course, the less wealthy candidate can potentially overcome the disparity in resources through contributions from others. But ability to generate contributions may itself depend upon a showing of a financial base for the campaign or some demonstration of pre-existing support, which in turn is facilitated by expenditures of substantial personal sums. Thus the wealthy candidate's immediate access to a substantial personal fortune may give him an initial advantage that his less wealthy opponent can never overcome. And even if the advantage can be overcome, the perception that personal wealth wins elections may not only discourage potential candidates without significant personal wealth from entering the political arena, but also undermine public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.
The concern that candidacy for public office not become, or appear to become, the exclusive province of the wealthy assumes heightened significance when one considers the impact of § 608 (b), which the Court today upholds. That provision prohibits contributions from individuals and groups to candidates in excess of $1,000, and contributions from political committees in excess of $5,000. While the limitations on contributions are neutral in the sense that
In view of § 608 (b)'s limitations on contributions, then, § 608 (a) emerges not simply as a device to reduce the natural advantage of the wealthy candidate, but as a provision providing some symmetry to a regulatory scheme that otherwise enhances the natural advantage of the wealthy.
MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I am not persuaded that the Court makes, or indeed is able to make, a principled constitutional distinction between the contribution limitations, on the one hand, and the expenditure limitations, on the other, that are involved here. I therefore do not join Part I-B of the Court's opinion or those portions of Part I-A that are consistent with Part I-B. As to those, I dissent.
I also dissent, accordingly, from the Court's responses to certified questions 3 (b), (c), and (h). I would answer those questions in the affirmative.
I do join the remainder of the Court's opinion and its answers to the other certified questions.
MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I concur in Parts I, II, and IV of the Court's opinion. I concur in so much of Part III of the Court's opinion as holds that the public funding of the cost of a Presidential election campaign is a permissible exercise of congressional authority under the power to tax and spend granted by Art. I, but dissent from Part III-B-1 of the Court's opinion, which holds that certain aspects of the statutory treatment of minor parties and independent candidates are constitutionally valid. I state as briefly as possible my reasons for so doing.
The limits imposed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments on governmental action may vary in their stringency depending on the capacity in which the government is acting. The government as proprietor, Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39 (1966), is, I believe,
For the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Jackson in Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 288-295 (1952), and by Mr. Justice Harlan in his dissenting opinion in Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, 500-503 (1957), I am of the opinion that not all of the strictures which the First Amendment imposes upon Congress are carried over against the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, but rather that it is only the "general principle" of free speech, Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 672 (1925) (Holmes J., dissenting), that the latter incorporates. See Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 324-325 (1937).
Given this view, cases which deal with state restrictions on First Amendment freedoms are not fungible with those which deal with restrictions imposed by the Federal Government, and cases which deal with the government as employer or proprietor are not fungible with those which deal with the government as a lawmaker enacting criminal statutes applying to the population generally. The statute before us was enacted by Congress, not with the aim of managing the Government's property nor of regulating the conditions of Government employment, but rather with a view to the regulation of the citizenry as a whole. The case for me, then, presents the First Amendment interests of the appellants at their strongest, and the legislative authority of Congress in the position where it is most vulnerable to First Amendment attacks.
While I am not sure that I agree with the Court's comment, ante, at 95, that "public financing is generally less restrictive of access to the electoral process than the ballot-access regulations dealt with in prior cases," in any case that is not, under my view, an adequate answer to appellants' claim. The electoral laws relating to ballot access which were examined in Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709, 716 (1974); American Party of Texas v. White, 415 U.S. 767, 780 (1974); and Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 729 730 (1974), all arose out of state efforts to regulate minor party candidacies and the actual physical size of the ballot. If the States are to afford a republican form of government, they must by definition provide for general elections and for some standards as to the contents of the official ballots which will be used at those elections. The decision of the state legislature to enact legislation embodying such regulations is therefore not in any sense an optional one; there must be some standards, however few, which prescribe the contents of the official ballot if the popular will is to be translated into a choice among candidates. Dealing thus by necessity with these issues, the States have strong interests in "limiting places on the ballot to those candidates who demonstrate substantial popular support," ante, at 96. They have a like interest in discouraging
Congress, on the other hand, while undoubtedly possessing the legislative authority to undertake the task if it wished, is not obliged to address the question of public financing of Presidential elections at all. When it chooses to legislate in this area, so much of its action as may arguably impair First Amendment rights lacks the same sort of mandate of necessity as does a State's regulation of ballot access.
Congress, of course, does have an interest in not "funding hopeless candidacies with large sums of public money," ante, at 96, and may for that purpose legitimately require " `some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support,' Jenness v. Fortson, [403 U.S. 431, 442 (1971),] as an eligibility requirement for public funds." Ante, at 96. But Congress in this legislation has done a good deal more than that. It has enshrined the Republican and Democratic Parties in a permanently preferred position, and has established requirements for funding minor-party and independent candidates to which the two major parties are not subject. Congress would undoubtedly be justified in treating the Presidential candidates of the two major parties differently from minor-party or independent Presidential candidates, in view of the long demonstrated public support of the former. But because of the First Amendment overtones of the appellants' Fifth Amendment equal protection claim, something more than a merely rational basis for the difference in treatment must be shown, as the Court apparently recognizes. I find it impossible to subscribe to the Court's reasoning that because no third party has posed a credible threat to the two major parties in Presidential
I would hold that, as to general election financing, Congress has not merely treated the two major parties differently from minor parties and independents, but has discriminated in favor of the former in such a way as to run afoul of the Fifth and First Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Mr. Cox filed a brief for Hugh Scott et al. as amici curiae urging affirmance.
Briefs of amici curiae were filed by Jerome B. Falk, Jr., Daniel H. Lowenstein, Howard F. Sachs, and Guy L. Heinemann for the California Fair Political Practices Commission et al.; by Lee Metcalf, pro se, and G. Roger King for Mr. Metcalf; by Vincent Hallinan for the Socialist Labor Party; by Marguerite M. Buckley for the Los Angeles County Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party; and by the Committee for Democratic Election Laws.
"(a) . . .
"The Commission, the national committee of any political party, or any individual eligible to vote in any election for the office of President of the United States may institute such actions in the appropriate district court of the United States, including actions for declaratory judgment, as may be appropriate to construe the constitutionality of any provision of this Act or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18. The district court immediately shall certify all questions of constitutionality of this Act or of section 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18, to the United States court of appeals for the circuit involved, which shall hear the matter sitting en banc.
"(b) . . .
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any decision on a matter certified under subsection (a) of this section shall be reviewable by appeal directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Such appeal shall be brought no later than 20 days after the decision of the court of appeals.
"(c) . . .
"It shall be the duty of the court of appeals and of the Supreme Court of the United States to advance on the docket and to expedite to the greatest possible extent the disposition of any matter certified under subsection (a) of this section."
1. Does the first sentence of § 315 (a) of the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended, 2 U. S. C. § 437h (a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV), in the context of this action, require courts of the United States to render advisory opinions in violation of the "case or controversy" requirement of Article III, § 2, of the Constitution of the United States? NO.
2. Has each of the plaintiffs alleged sufficient injury to his constitutional rights enumerated in the following questions to create a constitutional "case or controversy" within the judicial power under Article III? YES.
Unless otherwise indicated all subsequent statutory citations in Part I of this opinion are to Title 18 of the United States Code, 1970 edition, Supplement IV.
The Act does not define the phrase—"for the purpose of influencing" an election—that determines when a gift, loan, or advance constitutes a contribution. Other courts have given that phrase a narrow meaning to alleviate various problems in other contexts. See United States v. National Comm. for Impeachment, 469 F.2d 1135, 1139-1142 (CA2 1972); American Civil Liberties Union v. Jennings, 366 F.Supp. 1041, 1055-1057 (DC 1973) (three-judge court), vacated as moot sub nom. Staats v. American Civil Liberties Union, 422 U.S. 1030 (1975). The use of the phrase presents fewer problems in connection with the definition of a contribution because of the limiting connotation created by the general understanding of what constitutes a political contribution. Funds provided to a candidate or political party or campaign committee either directly or indirectly through an intermediary constitute a contribution. In addition, dollars given to another person or organization that are earmarked for political purposes are contributions under the Act.
The Act places no limit on the number of funds that may be formed through the use of subsidiaries or divisions of corporations, or of local and regional units of a national labor union. The potential for proliferation of these sources of contributions is not insignificant. In 1972, approximately 1,824,000 active corporations filed federal income tax returns. Internal Revenue Service, Preliminary Statistics of Income 1972, Corporation Income Tax Returns, p. 1 (pub. 159 (11-74)). (It is not clear whether this total includes subsidiary corporations where the parent filed a consolidated return.) In the same year, 71,409 local unions were chartered by national unions. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Directory of National Unions and Employee Associations 1973, p. 87 (1974).
The Act allows the maximum contribution to be made by each unit's fund provided the decision or judgment to contribute to particular candidates is made by the fund independently of control or direction by the parent corporation or the national or regional union. See S. Rep. No. 93-1237, pp. 51-52 (1974).
Since an incumbent is subject to these limitations to the same degree as his opponent, the Act, on its face, appears to be even-handed. The appearance of fairness, however, may not reflect political reality. Although some incumbents are defeated in every congressional election, it is axiomatic that an incumbent usually begins the race with significant advantages. In addition to the factors of voter recognition and the status accruing to holding federal office, the incumbent has access to substantial resources provided by the Government. These include local and Washington offices, staff support, and the franking privilege. Where the incumbent has the support of major special-interest groups which have the flexibility described in n. 31, supra, and is further supported by the media, the overall effect of the contribution and expenditure limitations enacted by Congress could foreclose any fair opportunity of a successful challenge.
However, since we decide in Part I-C, infra, that the ceilings on independent expenditures, on the candidate's expenditures from his personal funds, and on overall campaign expenditures are unconstitutional under the First Amendment, we need not express any opinion with regard to the alleged invidious discrimination resulting from the full sweep of the legislation as enacted.
Although appellants claim that the $1,000 ceiling governing contributions to candidates will prevent the acquisition of seed money necessary to launch campaigns, the absence of experience under the Act prevents us from evaluating this assertion. As appellees note, it is difficult to assess the effect of the contribution ceiling on the acquisition of seed money since candidates have not previously had to make a concerted effort to raise start-up funds in small amounts.
"Public discussion of public issues which also are campaign issues readily and often unavoidably draws in candidates and their positions, their voting records and other official conduct. Discussions of those issues, and as well more positive efforts to influence public opinion on them, tend naturally and inexorably to exert some influence on voting at elections." 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 226, 519 F. 2d, at 875.
"[A] person might purchase billboard advertisements endorsing a candidate. If he does so completely on his own, and not at the request or suggestion of the candidate or his agent's [sic] that would constitute an `independent expenditure on behalf of a candidate' under section 614 (c) of the bill. The person making the expenditure would have to report it as such.
"However, if the advertisement was placed in cooperation with the candidate's campaign organization, then the amount would constitute a gift by the supporter and an expenditure by the candidate— just as if there had been a direct contribution enabling the candidate to place the advertisement, himself. It would be so reported by both." S. Rep. No. 93-689, p. 18 (1974).
The Conference substitute adopted the provision of the Senate bill dealing with expenditures by any person "authorized or requested" to make an expenditure by the candidate or his agents. S. Conf. Rep. No. 93-1237, p. 55 (1974). In view of this legislative history and the purposes of the Act, we find that the "authorized or requested" standard of the Act operates to treat all expenditures placed in cooperation with or with the consent of a candidate, his agents, or an authorized committee of the candidate as contributions subject to the limitations set forth in § 608 (b).
Cases invalidating governmentally imposed wealth restrictions on the right to vote or file as a candidate for public office rest on the conclusion that wealth "is not germane to one's ability to participate intelligently in the electoral process" and is therefore an insufficient basis on which to restrict a citizen's fundamental right to vote. Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections, 383 U.S. 663, 668 (1966). See Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709 (1974); Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134 (1972); Phoenix v. Kolodziejski, 399 U.S. 204 (1970). These voting cases and the reapportionment decisions serve to assure that citizens are accorded an equal right to vote for their representatives regardless of factors of wealth or geography. But the principles that underlie invalidation of governmentally imposed restrictions on the franchise do not justify governmentally imposed restrictions on political expression. Democracy depends on a well-informed electorate, not a citizenry legislatively limited in its ability to discuss and debate candidates and issues.
In Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969), the Court upheld the political-editorial and personal-attack portions of the Federal Communications Commission's fairness doctrine. That doctrine requires broadcast licensees to devote programing time to the discussion of controversial issues of public importance and to present both sides of such issues. Red Lion "makes clear that the broadcast media pose unique and special problems not present in the traditional free speech case," by demonstrating that " `it is idle to posit an unbridgeable First Amendment right to broadcast comparable to the right of every individual to speak, write, or publish.' " Columbia Broadcasting v. Democratic Comm., 412 U.S. 94, 101 (1973), quoting Red Lion Broadcasting Co., supra, at 388. Red Lion therefore undercuts appellees' claim that § 608 (e) (1)'s limitations may permissibly restrict the First Amendment rights of individuals in this "traditional free speech case." Moreover, in contrast to the undeniable effect of § 608 (e) (1), the presumed effect of the fairness doctrine is one of "enhancing the volume and quality of coverage" of public issues. 395 U. S., at 393.
The Court of Appeals treated § 608 (a) as relaxing the $1,000-per-candidate contribution limitation imposed by § 608 (b) (1) so as to permit any member of the candidate's immediate family—spouse, child, grandparent, brother, sister, or spouse of such persons—to contribute up to the $25,000 overall annual contribution ceiling to the candidate. See 171 U. S. App. D. C., at 205, 519 F. 2d, at 854. The Commission has recently adopted a similar interpretation of the provision. See Federal Election Commission, Advisory Opinion 1975-65 (Dec. 5, 1975), 40 Fed. Reg. 58393. However, both the Court of Appeals and the Commission apparently overlooked the Conference Report accompanying the final version of the Act which expressly provides for a contrary interpretation of § 608 (a):
"It is the intent of the conferees that members of the immediate family of any candidate shall be subject to the contribution limitations established by this legislation. If a candidate for the office of Senator, for example, already is in a position to exercise control over funds of a member of his immediate family before he becomes a candidate, then he could draw upon these funds up to the limit of $35,000. If, however, the candidate did not have access to or control over such funds at the time he became a candidate, the immediate family member would not be permitted to grant access or control to the candidate in amounts up to $35,000, if the immediate family member intends that such amounts are to be used in the campaign of the candidate. The immediate family member would be permitted merely to make contributions to the candidate in amounts not greater than $1,000 for each election involved." S. Conf. Rep. No. 93-1237, p. 58 (1974).
The limitation on a candidate's expenditure of his own funds differs markedly from a limitation on family contributions both in the absence of any threat of corruption and the presence of a legislative restriction on the candidate's ability to fund his own communication with the voters.
3. Does any statutory limitation, or do the particular limitations in the challenged statutes, on the amounts that individuals or organizations may contribute or expend in connection with elections for federal office violate the rights of one or more of the plaintiffs under the First, Fifth, or Ninth Amendment or the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States?
(a) Does 18 U. S. C. § 608 (a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it forbids a candidate or the members of his immediate family from expending personal funds in excess of the amounts specified in 18 U. S. C. § 608 (a) (1) (1970 ed., Supp. IV)?
(b) Does 18 U. S. C. § 608 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it forbids the solicitation, receipt or making of contributions on behalf of political candidates in excess of the amounts specified in 18 U. S. C. § 608 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. IV)?
(c) Do 18 U. S. C. §§ 591 (e) and 608 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that they limit the incidental expenses which volunteers working on behalf of political candidates may incur to the amounts specified in 18 U. S. C. §§ 591 (e) and 608 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. IV)?
(d) Does 18 U. S. C. § 608 (e) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it limits to $1,000 the independent (not on behalf of a candidate) expenditures of any person relative to an identified candidate?
(e) Does 18 U. S. C. § 608 (f) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it limits the expenditures of national or state committees of political parties in connection with general election campaigns for federal office?
Answer: NO, as to the Fifth Amendment challenge advanced by appellants.
(f) Does § 9008 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 violate such rights, in that it limits the expenditures of the national committee of a party with respect to presidential nominating conventions?
Answer: NO, as to the Fifth Amendment challenge advanced by appellants.
(h) Does 18 U. S. C. § 608 (b) (2) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it excludes from the definition of "political committee" committees registered for less than the period of time prescribed in the statute?
4. Does any statutory limitation, or do the particular limitations in the challenged statutes, on the amounts that candidates for elected federal office may expend in their campaigns violate the rights of one or more of the plaintiffs under the First or Ninth Amendment or the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?
(a) Does 18 U. S. C. § 608 (c) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it forbids expenditures by candidates for federal office in excess of the amounts specified in 18 U. S. C. § 608 (c) (1970 ed., Supp. IV)?
7. Do the particular requirements in the challenged statutes that persons disclose the amounts that they contribute or expend in connection with elections for federal office or that candidates for such office disclose the amounts that they expend in their campaigns violate the rights of one or more of the plaintiffs under the First, Fourth, or Ninth Amendment or the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?
(a) Do 2 U. S. C. §§ 432 (b), (c), and (d) and 438 (a) (8) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that they provide, through auditing procedures, for the Federal Election Commission to inspect lists and records required to be kept by political committees of individuals who contribute more than $10?
(b) Does 2 U. S. C. §§ 434 (b) (1)-(8) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it requires political committees to register and disclose the names, occupations, and principal places of business (if any) of those of their contributors who contribute in excess of $100?
(c) Does 2 U. S. C. § 434 (d) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it neither requires disclosure of nor treats as contribution to or expenditure by incumbent officeholders the resources enumerated in 2 U. S. C. § 434 (d) (1970 ed., Supp. IV)?
(d) Does 2 U. S. C. § 434 (e) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it provides that every person contributing or expending more than $100 other than by contribution to a political committee or candidate (including volunteers with incidental expenses in excess of $600) must make disclosure to the Federal Election Commission?
Finally, these examples clearly reveal that §§ 41 and 218 afford public subsidies for candidates, but appellants have raised no constitutional challenge to the provisions, either on First or Fifth Amendment grounds.
5. Does any statutory provision for the public financing of political conventions or campaigns for nomination or election to the Presidency or Vice Presidency violate the rights of one or more of the plaintiffs under the First or Ninth Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, or Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, of the Constitution of the United States?
6. Do the particular provisions of Subtitle H and § 6096 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 deprive one or more of the plaintiffs of such rights under the First or Ninth Amendment or Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, in that they provide federal tax money to support certain political candidates, parties, movements, and organizations or in the manner that they so provide such federal tax money?
"The Commission shall refer apparent violations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities to the extent that violations of provisions of chapter 29 of Title 18 are involved, or if the Commission is unable to correct apparent violations of this Act under the authority given it by paragraph (5), or if the Commission determines that any such referral is appropriate." § 437g (a) (6) (emphasis added). While it is clear that the Commission has a duty to refer apparent criminal violations either upon their initial receipt or after an investigation, it would appear at the very least that the Commission, which has "primary jurisdiction" with respect to civil enforcement, § 437c (b), has the sole discretionary power "to determine" whether or not a civil violation has occurred or is about to occur, and consequently whether or not informal or judicial remedies will be pursued.
The Court of Appeals accordingly answered the six certified questions as follows:
"8. Do the provisions in the challenged statutes concerning the powers and method of appointment of the Federal Election Commission violate the rights of one or more of the plaintiffs under the constitutional separation of powers, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, or Ninth Amendment, Article I, Section 2, Clause 6, Article I, Section 5, Clause 1, or Article III?
"(a) Does 2 U. S. C. § 437c (a) violate such rights by the method of appointment of the Federal Election Commission? . . .
"(b) Do 2 U. S. C. §§ 437d and 437g violate such rights, in that they entrust administration and enforcement of the FECA to the Federal Election Commission? . . .
"Answer: NO as to the power to issue advisory opinions; UNRIPE as to all else.
"(c) Does 2 U. S. C. § 437g (a) violate such rights, in that it empowers the Federal Election Commission and the Attorney General to bring civil actions (including proceedings for injunctions) against any person who has engaged or who may engage in acts or practices which violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended, or §§ 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18? . . .
"Answer: UNRIPE FOR RESOLUTION
"(d) Does 2 U. S. C. § 438 (c) violate such rights, in that it empowers the Federal Election Commission to make rules under the FECA in the manner specified therein? . . .
"Answer: UNRIPE FOR RESOLUTION
"(e) Does 2 U. S. C. § 456 violate such rights, in that it imposes a temporary disqualification on any candidate for election to federal office who is found by the Federal Election Commission to have failed to file a report required by Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended? . . .
"Answer: UNRIPE FOR RESOLUTION
"(f) Does § 9008 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 violate such rights, in that it empowers the Federal Election Commission to authorize expenditures of the national committee of a party with respect to presidential nominating conventions in excess of the limits enumerated therein? . . .
Question 8 (a). Does 2 U. S. C. § 437c (a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate [the rights of one or more of the plaintiffs under the constitutional separation of powers, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, or Ninth Amendment, Art. I, § 2, cl. 6, Art. I, § 5, cl. 1, or Art. III] by the method of appointment of the Federal Election Commission?
With respect to the powers referred to in Questions 8 (b)-8 (f), the method of appointment violates Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution.
Question 8 (b). Do 2 U. S. C. §§ 437d and 437g (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that they entrust administration and enforcement of the FECA to the Federal Election Commission?
Question 8 (c). Does 2 U. S. C. § 437g (a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it empowers the Federal Election Commission and the Attorney General to bring civil action (including proceedings for injunctions) against any person who has engaged or who may engage in acts or practices which violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended, or §§ 608, 610, 611, 613, 614, 615, 616, or 617 of Title 18 (1970 ed., Supp. IV)?
Question 8 (d). Does 2 U. S. C. § 438 (c) (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights in that it empowers the Federal Election Commission to make rules under the FECA in the manner specified therein?
Question 8 (e). Does 2 U. S. C. § 456 (1970 ed., Supp. IV) violate such rights, in that it imposes a temporary disqualification on any candidate for election to federal office who is found by the Federal Election Commission to have failed to file a report required by Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended?
Question 8 (f). Does § 9008 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 violate such rights, in that it empowers the Federal Election Commission to authorize expenditures of the national committee of a party with respect to Presidential nominating conventions in excess of the limits enumerated therein?
The Federal Election Commission as presently constituted may not under Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution exercise the powers referred to in Questions 8 (b)-8 (f).
Unless otherwise indicated, all statutory citations in this part of the opinion are to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, §§ 301-311, 86 Stat. 11, as amended by the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974, §§ 201-407, 88 Stat. 1272, 2 U. S. C. § 431 et seq. (1970 ed., Supp. IV).
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but . . . [t]he Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States." § 3, cls. 4, 5.
"[N]o Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office."
See 1 M. Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, pp. 379-382 (1911) (hereafter Farrand); 2 Farrand 483.
"No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time . . . ." U. S. Const., Art. I, § 6, cl. 2.
"Whenever in the judgment of the Commission, after affording due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, any person has engaged or is about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute or will constitute a violation of any [relevant] provision . . . upon request by the Commission the Attorney General on behalf of the United States shall institute a civil action for relief . . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)
The FEC argues that " `there is no showing in this case of a convincing legislative history that would enable us to conclude that "shall" was intended to be the "language of command." ' " FEC Brief 62 n. 52, quoting 171 U. S. App. D. C. 172, 244 n. 191, 519 F.2d 821, 893 n. 191 (1975). The contention is that the FEC's enforcement power is not exclusive, because the Attorney General retains the traditional discretion to decline to institute legal proceedings. However this may be, the FEC's civil enforcement responsibilities are substantial. Moreover it is authorized under 26 U. S. C. §§ 9010, 9040 (1970 ed., Supp. IV), to appear in and to defend actions brought in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under §§ 9011, 9041, to review the FEC's actions under Chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26, and to appear in district court to seek recovery of amounts repayable to the Treasury under §§ 9007, 9008, 9038.
In addition to § 608 (a), § 608 (c), which limits overall candidate expenditures in a campaign, also provides a check on the advantage of the wealthy candidate. But we today invalidate that section, which unlike § 608 (a) imposes a flat prohibition on candidate expenditures above a certain level, and which is less tailored to the interest in equalizing access than § 608 (a). The effect of invalidating both § 608 (c) and § 608 (a) is to enable the wealthy candidate to spend his personal resources without limit, while his less wealthy opponent is forced to make do with whatever amount he can accumulate through relatively small contributions.