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Professor of Political Science Eric Davis available to comment on Supreme Court case on Vermont campaign finance reform

February 17, 2006

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Middlebury College Professor of Political Science and Addison County Independent columnist Eric Davis is available to comment on the upcoming United States Supreme Court case on Vermont's 1997 campaign finance law.  The court will consider the constitutionality of the law following oral arguments scheduled for Feb. 28.

Davis can be reached at or 802-443-5308 (office). 


Eric Davis

In the case before the Supreme Court, Randall v. Sorrell, the justices will consider whether Vermont can put limits on the amount of money that candidates for state office may spend. By regulating overall spending, not just campaign contributions, the Vermont law places limits on the amount of money candidates may spend on their campaigns, whether that money is raised from individuals, interest groups, or political parties. Vermont Right to Life, the Vermont Republican Party, and other political activists say the law violates their constitutional right to free speech. This case will provide the opportunity for the Supreme Court to revisit some of its important holdings in the area of campaign finance and the First Amendment in light of the state and federal efforts to control the cost of political campaigns over the last 30 years. A decision from the high court is expected by June 2006.

Eric Davis is a professor of political science at Middlebury College. He teaches courses on American politics, the presidency, Congress and elections. He has been a close observer of presidential, congressional and Vermont elections for more than 25 years. Davis writes a biweekly political column for the Addison Independent, and frequently provides political commentary for several Vermont media organizations, including Vermont Public Radio, WCAX-TV and the Rutland Herald. He has been interviewed by a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. Davis received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Brown University, and his doctorate from Stanford University.  He joined the Middlebury College faculty in 1980.