Fox News: Court: No campaign finance limits for small groups

Written by admin on November 12th, 2010

Fox News reports on the federal appellate court ruling that Colorado’s campaign finance disclosure laws are an unconstitutional abridgment of free speech.

This ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal is at odds with a previous ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals setting up for a possible Supreme Court case.

Fox News

At issue in the state case is a voter-approved amendment that requires groups of two or more people who spend more than $200 to report their spending. The appellate court ruled that the government cannot justify imposing campaign limits on such small groups, saying the burden outweighs the government’s interest in ensuring fair elections.

The judges cited the amendment’s preamble that the reporting requirement is meant to limit large campaign contributions that unfairly influence elections.

“It is unlikely that the Colorado voters who approved the disclosure requirements … were thinking of the No Annexation committee,” the panel wrote in their opinion.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed against a group of six homeowners who fought a proposal to have their subdivision annexed by the city of Parker, 20 miles south of Denver. The group raised and spent less than $1,000, prompting annexation supporters to allege a violation of Amendment 27.

Although the 10th Circuit panel declined to establish a “bright line” for determining the monetary limit that would require issues groups to file campaign reports, Simpson said there was “no distinction between a little group and a large group spending money.”


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