Sup. Court Nixes Vermont Campaign Limits

  Sup. Court Nixes Vermont Campaign Limits


By Sam Garchik

Did campaign finance reform suffer a setback or a jump forward yesterday when the Supreme Court, in six seperate opinions, struck down a Vermont law that capped donations to gubernatorial candidates at $400?

A New York Times editorial claimed that the new court affirmed campaign regulation in striking down the cap on contributions. This editorial sees the court ruling as a victory for campaign finance reform because the court let the idea of limits stand, even if they disallowed the actual limits in Vermont because the court said, they hurt challengers and help incumbents.

Meanwhile, USA Today used this opportuniy to remind Americans that voters in 7 states offer candidates the option of public financed races. (Of course, ICCI has been working on that for several years.)

Also, this article sums up the interested sides of this debate (Was the ACLU really agaisnt campaign finance reform?), and discusses the law and the future of Vermont elections in detail.

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1 Response to Sup. Court Nixes Vermont Campaign Limits

  1. Anonymous says:

    Many people have commented that this decision reaffirms the Court's commitment to the constitutionality of campaign finance regulations, but it really does no such thing. It seemingly took the pragmatic move of Justice Breyer to split with the moderates in order to rally support for a decision justified not by principles but by an appeal to stare decisis. You know support for a particular position is waning when the most aggressive arguments are appeals to precedent. In the end, six of nine justices invalidated Vermonts campaign finance regulations, giving various justifications. Hardly a ringing endorsement of Buckley.

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