April 4, 2016 •
Federal Judge Rules Kentucky’s Ban on Corporate Contributions is Unconstitutional
The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) cannot enforce the state’s constitutional prohibition on corporate contributions, according to a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove concluded the rule to be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because it prohibits corporate contributions while allowing other organizations, such as labor unions, to make contributions.
The case, Protect My Check, Inc. v. Dilger, grew out of right-to-work legislation. Labor unions who opposed the bill were allowed to make political contributions while a non-profit corporation, in favor of the measure, were not. The judge, however, rejected a First Amendment, free speech argument for allowing political contributions.
KREF stated it is still reviewing the opinion and is weighing its options.
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