Professor Rotunda Comments on Supreme Court Division Over Campaign Reform

The Supreme Court is "as fractured as the nose of a punch-drunk boxer" on the subject of campaign finance
reform, according to Professor Ronald D. Rotunda in an article
published in National Review Online. In  Randall v. Sorrell (2006), "the latest campaign finance decision in a long line of long opinions — nearly 70 pages long, with no majority,"  Rotunda cites the various opinions put forth by the justices with no clear lines of agreement.

There's No Future in the Past of Campaign Finance, National Review Online, June 28, 2006. By Ronald D. Rotunda.

"It had been a decade since the Court invalidated a campaign finance law (where the Court, also with no majority opinion, struck a Colorado law that forbade uncoordinated expenditures by a political party). And Randall marks the first time the Court has ever invalidated a limitation on individual or party contributions to a candidate.

"What will the future bring? Longer opinions, if the Court tries to keep the complex distinctions of the prior cases.

"There are hints, however, that the Court may not do that. Breyer's plurality (joined by Roberts and Alito) advised that the appellate courts should review the record 'independently,' and not defer to the lower courts to make sure that the restrictions on campaign financing are 'narrowly tailored.'

"So perhaps hope is warranted for a shorter decision in the future, one that remedies the confusion created by the Court's past decisions on campaign finance."

Read the article