Randall v. Sorrell
548 U.S. ___ (2006)

Annotate this Case

548 U. S. ____ (2006)
RANDALL V. SORRELL
548 U. S. ____ (2006)
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
NOS. 04-1528, 04-1530 AND 04-1697

NEIL RANDALL, et al., PETITIONERS

04–1528   v.

WILLIAM H. SORRELL et al.

VERMONT REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE, et al., PETITIONERS

04–1530   v.

WILLIAM H. SORRELL et al.

WILLIAM H. SORRELL, et al., PETITIONERS

04–1697   v.

NEIL RANDALL et al.

on writs of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the second circuit

[June 26, 2006]

   Justice Alito, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

   I concur in the judgment and join in Justice Breyer’s opinion except for Parts II–B–1 and II–B–2. Contrary to the suggestion of those sections, respondents’ primary defense of Vermont’s expenditure limits is that those limits are consistent with Buckley v. Valeo,424 U. S. 1 (1976) (per curiam). See Brief for William H. Sorrell et al. in Nos. 04–1528 and 04–1530, pp. 15–28 (hereinafter Sorrell Brief); Brief for Vermont Public Interest Research Group et al. in Nos. 04–1528 and 04–1530, pp. 5–36 (hereinafter VPIRG Brief). Only as a backup argument, an afterthought almost, do respondents make a naked plea for us to “revisit Buckley.” Sorrell Brief 28; VPIRG Brief 36. This is fairly incongruous, given that respondents’ defense of Vermont’s contribution limits rests squarely on Buckley and later decisions that built on Buckley, and yet respondents fail to explain why it would be appropriate to reexamine only one part of the holding in Buckley. More to the point, respondents fail to discuss the doctrine of stare decisis or the Court’s cases elaborating on the circumstances in which it is appropriate to reconsider a prior constitutional decision. Indeed, only once in 99 pages of briefing from respondents do the words “stare decisis” appear, and that reference is in connection with contribution limits. See Sorrell Brief 31. Such an incomplete presentation is reason enough to refuse respondents’ invitation to reexamine Buckley. See United States v. International Business Machines Corp.,517 U. S. 843, 856 (1996).

   Whether or not a case can be made for reexamining Buckley in whole or in part, what matters is that respondents do not do so here, and so I think it unnecessary to reach the issue.

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