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Citizens Against Rent Control v. City of Berkeley

454 U.S. 290 (1981)

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Citizens Against Rent Control v. City of Berkeley

United States Supreme Court

454 U.S. 290 (1981)

Facts

The voters of Berkeley, California, adopted a local ordinance placing a $250 limit on individual contributions to committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures. An unincorporated association, Citizens Against Rent Control (CARC) (plaintiff) opposed a ballot measure that would impose rent control on many of Berkeley’s rental units. CARC accepted nine individual contributions over the $250 limit. Twenty days before the election, the Berkeley Fair Campaign Practices Commission (BFCPC) ordered CARC to pay the city treasurer $18,600, which was the amount over the limit that CARC collected from individual contributions. Two weeks before the election, CARC sought and obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of the local ordinance. The ballot measure relating to rent control was defeated. The trial court subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of CARC, concluding that the ordinance was invalid on its face because it violated the First Amendment and the California Constitution. The California Supreme Court reversed, and CARC sought and was granted a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

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