Appeals Court Tosses Tennessee Nonpartisan PAC Contribution Blackout - State and Federal Communications

December 13, 2019  •  

Appeals Court Tosses Tennessee Nonpartisan PAC Contribution Blackout

Tennessee Capitol Building - Ichabod

On December 12, an appeals court found Tennessee laws barring nonpartisan PACs from donating to candidates within 10 days of an election violate the state constitution and cannot stand.

The ruling from the Tennessee Court of Appeals reinforces an earlier judgment from Nashville Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle and will end the donation restriction facing nonpartisan PACs.

State campaign finance laws had created a 10-day blackout period when such PACs couldn’t give to a candidate, but PACs controlled by a political party could.

The group Tennesseans for Sensible Election Laws argued that the law created a double standard that unfairly penalized nonpartisan groups while giving political parties an advantage.

The Court of Appeals agreed with that argument, ruling against the state.

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