Logourl black

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti

United States Supreme Court
435 U.S. 765 (1978)


Facts

A Massachusetts criminal statute prohibited certain expenditures by banks and business corporations for the purpose of influencing the vote on referendum proposals. First National Bank of Boston (FNBB) (plaintiff) wished to spend money to publicize their views on a proposed constitutional amendment that was to be submitted to the voters as a ballot question at a general election. The amendment would have permitted the legislature to impose a graduated tax on the income of individuals. FNBB brought suit against Bellotti, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, and the State of Massachusetts (defendants) in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts seeking to challenge the statute on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment. The court upheld the constitutionality of the statute, and FNBB appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (White, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 86,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 12,053 briefs - keyed to 161 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now