Heritage Mourns Loss of James Buckley

Heritage Mourns Loss of James Buckley

Aug 18, 2023 1 min read

James L. Buckley at The Heritage Foundation

WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation founder Ed Feulner today issued the following statement on the death of James L. Buckley, a former U.S. senator and judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit: 

“Jim Buckley devoted his life to defending constitutional principles of liberty, prosperity, and civil society. From the U.S. Senate to key posts in the Reagan administration to the federal bench, for 40 years he shaped conservatives’ advances in all three branches of the federal government.  


“In 2010, The Heritage Foundation presented him with our highest honor, the Clare Boothe Luce Award, in recognition of his dedication to the conservative movement. He was 87 at the time.  


“Characteristically, Judge Buckley once said he made his most memorable contribution to American politics in 1974, when he defended liberty in taking the issue of campaign finance ‘reform’ to the U.S. Supreme Court.  


“In Buckley v. Valeo, he challenged the constitutionality of a cap on individual contributions to political campaigns. Two years later, the high court struck down significant parts of the Federal Election Campaign Act and established strict limits on the government's ability to regulate Americans’ political activity.  


“Also characteristically, Judge Buckley’s book “Freedom at Risk” didn’t just collect essays and speeches spanning his 40 years in politics. It also laid out his specific proposals to preserve America’s constitutional government.  


“Heritage got it right in our Luce Award citation. We noted that as military officer, entrepreneur, statesman, legislator, jurist, author and citizen, James L. Buckley personified the Jeffersonian ideal of service to country. Most important, he did so with dignity, humility, and unfailing devotion to the principles of freedom.” 

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