Supreme Court rules in Vermont campaign finance case
The Supremes just issued a ruling (pdf file) striking down the Vermont campaign limits, which limited total campaign expenditures and put a very low ($200-400) limit on contributions.
The vote is 6-3, Breyer writing for the majority (four of those votes come in concurrences). Dissenters are Souter, Ginsberg and Stevens.
Notes: it emphasizes the vitality of Buckley v. Valeo, which is esp. interesting given that Breyer is writing (many saw him as trying to underline Buckley, at least in other contexts, and going toward a "the government can regulate as it pleases" standard). Alito's brief concurrence argues it was not necessary to consider whether Buckley should be overruled, as the parties mentioned that point only in passing. Kennedy's concurrence expresses his skepticism with regard to campaign finance regulations generally, in light of the First Amendment. Thomas and Scalia's concurrence suggests that Buckley didn't go far enough in protecting First Amendment freedoms (which puts Breyer's invocation of the case, and his pitch to stare decisis, in an interesting context -- he may have been trying to reinforce that caselaw against future attack from the argument that it didn't go far enough, rather than to answer the state's suggestion that it went too far).
Stevens dissents, arguing that Buckley's opposition to expenditure limits should be overruled, and Souter and Ginsberg contend that the Vermont statute should have passed muster because its limitations were not proven to sufficiently impact campaigns.