NCAA v. Smith Page 2

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Media for NCAA v. Smith

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 20, 1999 in NCAA v. Smith

Antonin Scalia:

I mean, sometimes you say recipient, and then... and then you say intended recipient.

Do our opinions say intended recipient?

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

--Well, Grove City is the case that I'm... I'm thinking of, and there what the Court... the checks were made out to the students.

But the statute that gave the money said this is to provide assistance to institutions of higher education.

The money could only be spent on tuition at those institutions of higher education.

Anthony M. Kennedy:

Well, if we didn't have Paralyzed Veterans or Grove... the Grove case, would you read the regulation naturally your way so that there has to be an intent?

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Well, I think--

Anthony M. Kennedy:

I don't see where you get that from the face of the regulation if we talk just about that.

I recognize you have the gloss of the case.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

--Yes.

The regulation says that the receipt can be indirect, but it is still... you still have to be a recipient.

And it is not enough simply to trace the money.

And because you are paid by a recipient of Federal funds, that doesn't mean that you are also a recipient of Federal funds.

Antonin Scalia:

I don't understand that.

You're... you're not a recipient unless you're an intended recipient.

A direct recipient is a recipient, but an indirect recipient is not a recipient unless he's an intended recipient.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Well, what the... what the Court--

Antonin Scalia:

Does the word recipient has... have some... some connotation of intent in it?

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

--Well, you have to... you'd be the recipient of the Federal grant.

What the Court said in Paralyzed Veterans in the easy case, if the grant statute extends money, quote, then the recipient is the entity that receives the money.

Antonin Scalia:

Suppose I'm giving... I'm given money.

I'm given food stamps.

And I can spend them anywhere I want and I spend them at a particular grocery store.

Wouldn't it be proper English to say the grocery store was an indirect recipient of the... of the food stamps?

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

The key is whether there is a Spending Clause contract between the recipient and the Federal Government whereby the recipient agrees to accept the conditions, the prohibitions on discrimination, in exchange for accepting the Federal funds.

David H. Souter:

Well, was there a contract in Grove City?

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

There was, yes.

David H. Souter:

With the institution?

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

With the institution.

That's what the case was about.