Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002

variants: popularly McCain-Feingold Act
2 U.S.C. 431  | (2002)

Legal Definition of Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002

added new regulations to the financing of political campaigns. The law sought to end the use of “soft money,” or funds raised outside of existing federal campaign finance law. It limited the ways in which national party committees, state, local, and district parties, and federal candidates and officeholders could raise and spend funds for various activities conducted in connection with a campaign for federal office. It added new rules defining when a communication (such as a television or radio ad or mass mailing) was coordinated between a candidate or political party and the person making such a communication, such that the communication amounted to an in-kind contribution or expenditure that required reporting to the Federal Election Commission. It increased limits on individuals' contributions to candidates, and added new regulations with regard to self-financed candidates. It also prohibited corporations and labor unions from funding “electioneering communications,” or certain political ads referring to a clearly identified candidate, usually about a particular issue. The Supreme Court struck down the prohibition on corporate and union funding in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010), holding that it was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.

Learn More about Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002

Cite this Entry

“Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

Comments on Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002

What made you want to look up Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!