August 15, 2011
On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett. The question in this case was whether Arizona's matching funds system for publicly funded candidates for state office violated the First Amendment.
In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held by a vote of 5 to 4 that "Arizona's matching funds scheme substantially burdens protected political speech without serving a compelling state interest and therefore violates the First Amendment." Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito joined the opinion of Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor.
To discuss the case, we have Bradley A. Smith, who is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School.