You hit the nail on the head. Buckley is the granddaddy case in campaign finance "reform." It has been reaffirmed in two dozen other cases since 1976. Buckley will not be reversed, or "revisited" as Li'l Tommy Daschle suggested last week.
And under the plain language of Buckley several sections of Shays-Meehan are unconstitutional, and will be struck down.
I agree with you about the President's decision to sign this monstrosity. I would have much preferred that he stand on the Constitution and vetoed the bill and let the chips fall where they may.
However, it now looks like we will get a Supreme Court decision striking Shays-Meehan BEFORE the November elections. If so, Li'l Tommy Daschle & company (including McCain) will be on the defensive for "deliberately passing an unconstitutional bill."
If so, it is the Democrats and squish Republicans who will suffer most in November, 2002. The result will be a better Congress, And the new Congress will not repass the same monstrosity.
That's my read on the situation. And I'm doing my part by attacking CFR in the Supreme Court with all guns blazing.
But by "deliberately signing and unconstitutional bill", the President will not really have a leg to stand on politically. If he vetoed it and it was passed over his veto, then he would have the political high ground on the issue. But not if he signs it, or that's the way I see it anyway.