As is often the case, Justice Antonin Scalia was the protagonist during oral arguments this morning in the case of Davis v. Federal Election Commission, a challenge to the so-called "Millionaires Amendment" in federal campaign finance law. Under the law, when a candidate for Congress spends more than $350,000 or his or her own funds, the opposition candidate is allowed to receive higher contributions than otherwise permitted from individuals and parties. Our full report on the argument can be found at the LegalTimes.com.
Scalia usually had spectators laughing, but at one point, he had many in the courtroom shaking their heads. The justice was making the point that with the triggering point of the law set at $350,000, it affected not just millionaires.
"Are we talking wealthy people here? What's the average price of a home in the United States?" Scalia asked rhetorically. "I think it's a good deal above $350,000, isn't it?"
Well, not exactly. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average sales price of existing homes nationwide last month was $247,700. But Scalia could perhaps be forgiven, considering where he lives. In McLean, Virginia, where he and Justice Anthony Kennedy own homes, the average price is $1,827,188, according to MRIS, a real estate data service.