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AZ FREE ENTERPRISE v. BENNETT

Docket No.: 10-238
Certiorari Granted: 11/29/10
Argued: March 28, 2011
Decided: 06/23/11
Consolidated with: CONSOLIDATED WITH 10-239 FOR ONE HOUR ORAL ARGUMENT.

Topics:

First Amendment, judicial review

PartyNames: Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Ken Bennett, in His Official Capacity as Arizona Secretary of State, et al.
Petitioner: Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC, et al.
Respondent: Ken Bennett, in His Official Capacity as Arizona Secretary of State, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Citation: 611 F.3d 510

Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC, et al.
v.
Ken Bennett, in His Official Capacity as Arizona Secretary of State, et al.
Background:

In Davis v. FEC, 128 S. Ct. 2759 (2008), this Court held that the First Amendment forbids the government from attempting to level the playing field in elections by raising contribution limits for candidates who are outspent by self-financed opponents. Arizona's Citizens Clean Elections Act achieves a similar result by providing extra subsidies in the form of "matching funds" to publicly financed candidates who are outspent by independent expenditure groups and privately financed candidates.

Question Presented:

1. Whether the First Amendment forbids Arizona from providing additional government subsidies to publicly financed candidates that are triggered by independent expenditure groups' speech against such candidates? 2. Whether the First Amendment forbids Arizona from providing additional government subsidies to publicly financed candidates that are triggered by the fundraising or expenditures by these candidates' privately financed opponents?

Question:

Does the First Amendment prohibit linking the funds participating candidates receive in an election to the amount of money raised by or spent on behalf of their opponents?

AZ FREE ENTERPRISE v. BENNETT
ORAL ARGUMENT

03/28/11

Listen to Oral Argument in AZ FREE ENTERPRISE v. BENNETT
Holding: reversed
Vote: 5-4
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