banned national parties and officeholders from raising and spending "soft money," and prohibited corporations and unions from funding "electioneering communications" within 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election.
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
candidates spending money to finance their own campaigns is a form of constitutionally protected free speech through the 1st Amendment
McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003)
upheld most of BCRA ruling that restrictions on free speech justified by government's interest to prevent corruption in campaigns
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
ruled spending is protected speech under the 1st Amendment and the government cannot prohibit spending by corporations and labor unions to support or denounce individual candidates in elections