Houston Ordinance Curtailing Political Contributions Preliminarily Blocked - State and Federal Communications

January 12, 2015  •  

Houston Ordinance Curtailing Political Contributions Preliminarily Blocked

Flag of Houston, TexasOn January 9, 2015, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the city of Houston  from enforcing its ordinance prohibiting political contributions until the first day of February prior to the day of an election.

In Gordon v. City of Houston, the United States District Court for The Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, found the city did not present any evidence showing the ordinance advanced the city’s interest of preventing the appearance of corruption. The plaintiff argued the ordinance “stifles core political activity and prevents candidates from raising funds to run effective campaigns, yet it does not further the only legitimate governmental interest relevant in this area, i.e., the prevention of corruption or its appearance.”

Because this is a preliminary injunction, the court found the public interest would not be “disserved” by its issuance, concluding, “Any harm caused to defendants by issuing the injunction does not outweigh the more serious harm that will be suffered by Gordon if the challenged ordinance is enforced against him.”

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