The Lonely Centrist

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

EXCLUSIVE!! Sneak Preview: The Court Rules in Randall v. Sorrell

Oh, are they excited in the community of campaign finance lawyers, waiting and waiting with baited breath for the Supreme Court's decision in Randall v. Sorrell. Well, The Lonely Centrist has obtained a sneak preview of the Court's decision. It turns out that the Justices issued 9 - count 'em, 9 opinions. Here are some excerpts. Remember, these opinions are still in draft, and could change.

Roberts, C.J., (joined by Justices Alito and Kennedy), concurring in part and dissenting in part: "Given that no Vermont legislators have turned themselves in for violations of the state's Corrupt Practices Act or other laws, we have to conclude that either corruption is not so great a problem as the State now claims, or that the legislators cannot be trusted to act to cure corruption, in which case we owe little deference to their claims in this case..."

Stevens, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part: "When I was in law school, we didn't have these kind of these cases. Skies were bluer back then, and people only thought of Vermont when they were eating cheese. Which isn't to say we don't make pretty good cheese up in Minnesota, too...."

Scalia, J., dissenting for the hell of it: "I'm surrounded by fools. I can't believe these guys got appointed to a muni court, let alone the Supreme Court."

Kennedy, J. concurring in part and dissenting in part: "I conclude that contribution limits this low are unconstitutional, except that sometimes they are not unconstitutional. Or is it that these limits are constitutional, except that in later cases they might not be. I don't want to be too categorical here. Help, my head is about to explode."

Souter, J., (joined by Justices Breyer, Stevens, and Ginsberg) concurring in part and dissenting in part: "What Justice Breyer said." [ed note - the opinion then continues for 47 pages].

Thomas, J., (joined by Roberts, Alito, and Scalia, except for footnote 37 and part III. B. 2.), concurring in part and dissenting in part: "In the elections of 1796, the following individuals contributed to the campaign of John Adams: Abigail Adams...

"In the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson received contributions from 1019 Americans, specifically, ...

"During the 1795 debate over passage of the National Post Road Act, Madison repeatedly stressed the importance of ... ."

"From this history I conclude that the stigmatization faced by black Americans cannot be eradicated except through the immediate..."

Ginsberg, J., joined by Justices Breyer, Stevens, and Souter: "What Justice Breyer said, although I'm more concerned about the impact of today's ruling on women... ."

Breyer, J. (joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsberg): "Of course there are arguments on both sides, but why should I have to sit through them? On vacation last summer I read the 20th century philosopher Robert Fulghum. Fulghum argued that most important things in life can be learned by age five. Since Fulghum's writings harken back to an earlier, simpler time, we can assume that they are applicable to the thinking of the Founders as well, who lived in such an earlier time. Undoubtedly from this we can discern that the Constitution is really intended to reflect the thinking of five year olds. If I were five years old, what I would want in this situation, or indeed in any other, is a constitutional rule reflecting what it is that I want to be the result. Therefore, the conclusion must be that the Founders wanted Americans to get what they wanted. And since I am a Supreme Court Justice, formerly a member of the Harvard Law School faculty, and smarter than everyone else [fn6 - Gosh, I run rings around Scalia, don't I], who better to determine what Americans really want? Thus, ... "

Alito, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part: "What would Harriet think? ... "

We'll see if things change before the final decision is released.

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