This case, Thompson v. Hebdon, challenges Alaska’s $500 per election cycle limit on contributions from individuals to legislative and gubernatorial candidates. It also challenges the state’s $500 per cycle limit on giving to groups other than political parties.
The plaintiffs, a group of Alaska voters, assert that these low limits are not necessary to prevent corruption and violate their First Amendment right to support the candidates of their choice. They are represented by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement and attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
In our amicus brief, the Institute for Free Speech filed asked the Supreme Court to hear a case challenging those limits as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The brief says the Court should overturn its 2006 ruling in Randall v. Sorrell and implement a clearer standard for evaluating campaign finance laws.
“The right to support candidates is protected by the First Amendment. Yet the Court’s principal case, Randall v. Sorrell, is a one-off decision that provides little useful guidance. The Court now has a chance to bring clarity to the law while addressing the fundamental question of whether any limit on campaign contributions is simply too low,” said Institute for Free Speech Legal Director Allen Dickerson.