In 1997, the State of Vermont enacted a stringent campaign finance law, Pub. Act No. 64 (Act 64). Act 64 imposed mandatory expenditure limits on the total amount a candidate for state office could spend during a two-year general election cycle. Additionally, Act 64 imposed strict contribution limits for any single individual who wished to contribute to the campaign and limited the amount any individual could give to a political party during a two-year general election cycle to $2000. Neil Randall (plaintiff), a Vermont state legislator, brought suit against Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and the State of Vermont (defendants) in federal district court on the grounds that Act 64 violated the First Amendment. The district court struck down the expenditure limits, but upheld most of the contribution limits as constitutional. The court of appeals reversed, ruling that all the contribution limits were constitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.