If the court says this particular spending limit in Vermont is unconstitutional but there may be cases in which spending limits are warranted, that would certainly be a victory for the parties defending this law.

If states go too far and pass spending limits that are too low, that might be seen as an effort to entrench incumbents.

This was just a first step. There is more work to do.

I think it showed her the human side of the legal issues she'll confront. The question is: Who will she be as a judge? Will she bring those same sensitivities to the bench as a judge? My hope is that she will - just as Justice O'Connor did.

There is a real question of whether nine unelected federal judges know exactly what's best for Vermont politics, and maybe local politicians have a better sense of what's best for local politics. This is a tension between expressive rights on one hand, and the ability of local citizens to control the election rules in their own states and communities.