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On June 13, 2011, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan. Nevada passed a law that bars a legislator from both voting on a proposal and advocating its passage or failure when he has a conflict of interest. The question in this case was whether this law was unconstitutionally overbroad such that it violated the First Amendment rights of legislators.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court held by a vote of 9-0 that the Nevada law was not unconstitutionally overbroad such that it violated the First Amendment rights of legislators. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined Justice Scalia’s opinion. Justice Kennedy filed a concurring opinion. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
To discuss the case, we have Supreme Court advocate Erik S. Jaffe.