MONEY AND CORRUPTION
The Supreme Court held in Buckley v. Valeo that the government interest in preventing “corruption” or the “appearance of corruption” was sufficiently compelling to uphold some campaign finance regulation against First Amendment challenge. Specifically, the Court upheld requirements for the disclosure of contributions, and for limits on contributions, though it struck down mandatory limits on spending of all kinds. 1 As we have seen in chapters 3 and 4, the idea that money is uniquely or particularly “corrupting” in the political process is open to both theoretical and empirical attack, the Court's ruling notwithstanding. In this chapter, we shall see that the Court's decision to uphold limits on political contributions in order to prevent “corruption” or the “appearance of corruption” is also vulnerable on constitutional grounds.