The Institute for Free Speech is saddened by the passing of former U.S. Senator James L. Buckley. James Buckley held many positions in the Reagan Administration, as well as serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is also one of a handful of people to have served in all three branches of the federal government. He lived to be 100 years old.
James Buckley was a staunch defender of the First Amendment, particularly political speech. When he served in the Senate, he was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that led to the landmark 1976 Supreme Court decision, Buckley v. Valeo. His victory created a vital precedent protecting election campaign speech that impacted numerous crucial future cases, such as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC).
On Buckley’s life and work, Institute for Free Speech Chairman and Founder Bradley Smith said, “Without James Buckley’s work, our rights as Americans would be significantly diminished. We are grateful for his contributions to protect robust political discourse and participation.”
Institute for Free Speech President David Keating remarked on Buckley’s passing, saying, “James Buckley was a thoughtful constitutional conservative who dedicated much of his life to promoting and protecting our freedoms.”
James Buckley will be remembered as a dedicated public servant and champion for free speech and privacy. The Institute for Free Speech honors his memory and salutes him for his years of service to our country.