Randall v. Sorrell Page 3

Randall v. Sorrell general information

Media for Randall v. Sorrell

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 28, 2006 in Randall v. Sorrell

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 26, 2006 in Randall v. Sorrell

Stephen G. Breyer:

The problem of contributions in kind is a serious one.

When you have very low limits and you have volunteers and those volunteers want to drive a candidate around the state use their own gasoline or maybe use their own stamps or maybe use their own postage, these low limits eat up that postage amount or the dollar for coffee and so forth pretty quickly, and the consequence of that is the risk of campaign violation; and the risk of campaign violation is a risk of very bad publicity, even if it is a minor violation.

So put those together and add one other thing: that it is not indexed for inflation.

So that means that even if we are wrong, eventually we would be right.

Further, we could not find any special justification for this.

So putting together the very low limits for the individual gifts, the same limits being on the political parties, the problem of contributions in kind, the fact that it is not indexed for inflation and the possibility that we could not find any possibility of special justification, putting those five things together, we think that this statute is lower than the Constitutional bound.

It is too low on the low side; therefore, it violates the First Amendment.

Well, as I said, that is just Justice Alito and myself … and the Chief Justice.

I don’t want to forget that.

All right.

Now, the other opinions, Justice Alito has filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment; Justice Kennedy has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment; Justice Thomas has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Scalia joins; Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion; and Justice Souter has filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Ginsburg joins and which Justice Stevens joins in part.

I did not forget anyone.