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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: September 3, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: November 3, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. The general intent of BCRA, (effective November 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Election Projections: First Amendment Issues

Election Projections: First Amendment Issues

Date: January 23, 2001
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: Media projections may be based both on exit polls and on information acquired as to actual ballot counts. The First Amendment would generally preclude Congress from prohibiting the media from interviewing voters after they exit the polls. It apparently would also preclude Congress from prohibiting the media from reporting the results of those polls. Congress, could, however, ban voter solicitation within a certain distance from a polling place, and might be able to include exit polling within such a ban.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Date: March 20, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference

Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference

Date: October 26, 1994
Creator: Ackerman, David M
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federalism and the Constitution: Limits on Congressional Power

Federalism and the Constitution: Limits on Congressional Power

Date: March 21, 2001
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Date: January 2, 2003
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Date: September 5, 2003
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment

Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment

Date: April 24, 2001
Creator: Shampansky, Jay R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment

Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment

Date: June 7, 2002
Creator: Shampansky, Jay R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment

Super-Majority Voting Requirement for Tax Increases: An Overview of Proposals for a Constitutional Amendment

Date: April 23, 2003
Creator: Shampansky, Jay R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement

A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement

Date: June 13, 2002
Creator: Saturno, James V
Description: Proposals to limit the federal government’s authority to raise taxes have been made several times in recent years. Most frequently, these proposals call for limits on Congress’s ability to pass revenue measures. Typically, limitation proposals would allow increases in tax revenues only under one of two circumstances. First, tax revenues could increase under existing tax laws as a result of economic upturns. Alternatively, they could increase because of a new law, but only if it were passed by a super-majority (typically two-thirds or three-fifths). Questions about how such proposals might be applied in practice have not been clearly answered. Congress has previously considered such proposals in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. In each case the proposal has failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary for passage. Most recently, the House considered H.J.Res. 96 on June 12, 2002. The measure failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds, 227-178. This report will be updated to reflect any further legislative actions on such proposals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement

A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement

Date: July 15, 2003
Creator: Saturno, James V
Description: Proposals to limit the federal government’s authority to raise taxes have been made several times in recent years. Most frequently, these proposals call for limits on Congress’s ability to pass revenue measures. Typically, limitation proposals would allow increases in tax revenues only under one of two circumstances. First, tax revenues could increase under existing tax laws as a result of economic upturns. Alternatively, they could increase because of a new law, but only if it were passed by a super-majority (typically two-thirds or three-fifths). Questions about how such proposals might be applied in practice have not been clearly answered. Congress has previously considered such proposals in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. In each case the proposal has failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary for passage. Most recently, the House considered H.J.Res. 96 on June 12, 2002. The measure failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds, 227-178. This report will be updated to reflect any further legislative actions on such proposals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: August 10, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: "Soft money" has become one of the major issues in the area of campaign financing in federal elections. The controversy surrounding this issue is due to the perception that soft money may be the largest loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Soft money is broadly defined as funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws; that would be impermissible, under the FECA, to spend directly in federal elections and that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Date: May 24, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Date: December 7, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Date: July 29, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Date: May 19, 2005
Creator: Luckey, John R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes

Date: March 9, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The European Union's "Constitution"

The European Union's "Constitution"

Date: May 2, 2005
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: In June 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded work on a constitutional treaty that contains changes to the EU’s governing institutions and decision-making processes. This new “constitution” grew out of the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe and previous EU efforts to institute internal reforms ahead of the Union’s expansion from 15 members to 25 in May 2004. The “constitution” aims to enable a larger EU to operate effectively and prevent gridlock, but it must still be ratified by all member states before it enters into force. This report provides background information on the Convention and describes the EU “constitution,” its key provisions, next steps, and possible implications for the U.S.-EU relationship.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The European Union's "Constitution"

The European Union's "Constitution"

Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: In June 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded work on a constitutional treaty that contains changes to the EU’s governing institutions and decision-making processes. This new “constitution” grew out of the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe and previous EU efforts to institute internal reforms ahead of the Union’s expansion from 15 members to 25 in May 2004. The “constitution” aims to enable a larger EU to operate effectively and prevent gridlock, but it must still be ratified by all member states before it enters into force. This report provides background information on the Convention and describes the EU “constitution,” its key provisions, next steps, and possible implications for the U.S.-EU relationship.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department