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Randall v. Sorrell

Docket No.: 04-1528
Certiorari Granted: Jan 23 2006
Argued: February 28, 2006
Decided: June 26, 2006
Consolidated with: CONSOLIDATED WITH 04-1530 AND 04-1697 FOR ONE HOUR ORAL ARGUMENT.

Topic:

First Amendment

PartyNames: Neil Randall, et al. v. William H. Sorrell, et al.
Petitioner: Vermont Republican State Committee, et al.
Respondent: William H. Sorrell, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Vermont Republican State Committee, et al.
v.
William H. Sorrell, et al.
548 U.S. 230 (2006)
Question Presented:

1. Whether Vermont's mandatory limits on candidate expenditures violate the First Amendment and this Court's decision in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976). 2. Whether Vermont's treatment of independent expenditures by political parties and committees as presumptively coordinated if they benefit fewer than six candidates, and thereby subject to strict contribution and expenditure limits, is consistent with the First Amendment and this Court's decision in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Comm. v. Federal Election Comm 'n, 518 U.S. 604 (1996).3. Whether Vermont's contribution limits, which are the lowest in the country, which allow only a single maximum contribution in an entire two-year general election cycle, and which prohibit even state political parties from contributing more than ยง400 to their gubernatorial candidate, fall below an acceptable constitutional threshold and should be struck down.

Question:

(1) Do expenditure limits for political candidates violate the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech? (2) Are Vermont's contribution limits of $200-$400 per candidate for individuals, political groups, and political parties unconstitutionally low under the First Amendment?

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
Read RANDALL V. SORRELL opinion (PDF)
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