Arizona Judge Rules Campaign Finance Laws Unconstitutional

Arizona, campaign finance

In a ruling this week, the Maricopa County Superior Court restored expanded oversight to the Citizens Clean Election Commission and deemed parts of the 2016 campaign finance law unconstitutional.

The court found that power to investigate campaign finance violations and act as the filing officer was illegally stripped from the Commission created by voters in 1998.

Additionally, the 2016 law created provisions allowing unlimited spending on legal fees, accounting and other types of support for candidates and political committees without being counted toward contribution limits.

Judge David J. Palmer ruled the above provisions violate the Voter Protection Act, a voter-approved constitutional provision banning lawmakers from significantly altering voter-enacted laws.

An appeal is expected from the defendants who include the Arizona Secretary of State. It is unclear how campaign finance filing and enforcement will be immediately affected.