High court to consider two campaign cases

The Supreme Court yesterday announced it would review a Vermont campaign-finance law limiting individual campaign contributions and gubernatorial-candidate spending.

The Vermont Republican State Committee and other groups asked the court earlier this year to rule on a federal appellate-court decision that upheld the Vermont law.

In 1976, the Supreme Court decided in the landmark case Buckley v. Valeo that limits on campaign spending were unconstitutional.

The high court would either overturn its earlier findings in Buckley or overrule the lower court’s decision.

“When Buckley was decided, the cost of campaigns was relatively modest,” said Brenda Wright, lead counsel for groups defending the state’s limits. “Thirty

years later, it’s clear the fundraising arms race has turned our officeholders into full-time fundraisers.”

The court also announced that it will also consider an appeal from Wisconsin Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, challenging the constitutionality of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act’s limit on political advertising.

The court will review the appeals during its new term, which begins next week.

Alexander Bolton