Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation Inc. Page 16

Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation Inc. general information

Media for Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 14, 1998 in Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation Inc.

Antonin Scalia:

--to disclosing--

Neil D. O'Toole:

--None.

Antonin Scalia:

--who the circulators are and that they're paid and how much money is paid, and all of that is, indeed, disclosed, isn't it?

Neil D. O'Toole:

Your Honor, it is disclosed on the petition.

Antonin Scalia:

So what Justice Breyer should be asking you is, what if we required contributors to candidates to go around wearing a button that says, contributor to candidate?

That's the parallel, isn't it?

Stephen G. Breyer:

I know you're going to say yes, and I know what--

[Laughter]

Perhaps what I should be asking.

Neil D. O'Toole:

I'm glad you know that.

Stephen G. Breyer:

Now... maybe what I should be asking, but what I actually am asking, is--

Neil D. O'Toole:

Thank you, Justice Scalia.

Stephen G. Breyer:

--Is why you made that concession?

I'm trying to get in my mind what the reason is that distinguishes between those two things.

I'm looking for the rationale.

Neil D. O'Toole:

Your Honor, in fact, as we tried this case, and as we presented in our complaint, we did not make that concession, and in fact we challenged the affidavit requirement because we believed there were more or less restrictive means in which to gather the ensuring of a modicum of State support was there.

However--

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Well, that I don't understand based on Buckley, because if... let's just make it with a volunteer contributor.

If I am required to disclose how much money I give, why isn't it equally constitutional for me to say I didn't have the money but I gave personal services instead?

Why shouldn't the public know who is contributing to this candidate, and some may contribute money, and some may contribute personal services?

Neil D. O'Toole:

--The public does know, in Colorado, who has contributed to a citizens' initiative.

That is reported.

Contributions are not at stake here.

What we're talking about are reporting requirements for individuals who are engaged in this very specific area of protected speech with their names, their addresses, their business addresses, and they are reported while--

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

But I thought you just said you objected to the whole thing, including the report--

Neil D. O'Toole:

--No.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

--that the sponsor has to file, which as I understand it says, I am the sponsor of the initiative, here it is ready to go on the ballot, I spent X amount for paid solicitation.

Neil D. O'Toole:

In fact, Justice Ginsburg, I apologize if I gave you that impression.

We did oppose the affidavit requirement because we thought it identified individuals too closely with contentious issues.

We did not challenge the expenditure reporting requirements as found under the Campaign Act.