Logourl black

McConnell v. Federal Election Commission

United States Supreme Court
540 U.S. 93 (2003)


Facts

In 2002, Congress passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) to respond to concerns about campaign finance reform. Titles I and II of the act imposed new restrictions on the use of soft money by candidates and “electioneering communications.” Titles II and III of the act restricted candidates’ access to discounted airtime based on the type of their advertisements, and prohibited individuals under seventeen years of age from making contributions to political parties. Title V of the act required broadcasters to keep and make available records of request for political advertisements. Senator Mitch McConnell (plaintiff) challenged BCRA as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. McConnell brought suit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) (defendant). A three judge panel ruled parts of the statute constitutional and other parts unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Stevens and O’Connor, JJ. for BCRA Titles I and II; Rehnquist, C.J. for BCRA Titles III and IV; Breyer, J., for BCRA Title V)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence/Dissent (Scalia, J.)

The concurrence/dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the judge’s concurrence in part and dissent in part. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence/Dissent (Thomas, J.)

The concurrence/dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the judge’s concurrence in part and dissent in part. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence/Dissent (Kennedy, J.)

The concurrence/dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the judge’s concurrence in part and dissent in part. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Rehnquist, C.J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 81,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 11,513 briefs - keyed to 153 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now