Monday, June 27, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Arizona's Clean Elections Matching Blows

On the final day of its 2010-11 term, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt Arizona Clean Elections system of financing for state political campaigns matching blows on Monday. 

The justices, on a 5-4 split decision (opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts), issued an opinion in the consolidated cases of McComish (State Sen. John) v. Bennett (Secy of State Ken) and Arizona's Free Enterprise Club Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, holding that the matching funds provisions of the Clean Elections law passed by Arizona voters in 1998 violate the First Amendment.  The decision overturns the 9th Circuit, but vindicates District Court Judge Roslyn Silver.

The split was along expected lines: Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Thomas joined the Chief Justice in the majority.  Justice Kagan wrote the dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor.

Here is a link to the opinions; we will hopefully have some analysis shortly.  (Thanks to for their fine live coverage of the Supreme Court!)

(BONUS Supreme Court coverage: Led by Justice Scalia, the Court holds that California's law restricting the sale of violent video games also violates the First Amendment.

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