October 25, 2012 •
Case goes back to trial court to determine constitutionality of state’s contribution limits
The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Illinois’ limits on campaign financing will remain in force at least through the upcoming general election. Illinois Liberty PAC initially sought an injunction to suspend the limits, but its effort was refused by the district court. They appealed and the appellate court ruled that the PAC’s attorneys “have not shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge to contribution limits.”
The case will now go back to the district court, where the actual merits of the case can be decided. The PAC claims that the limits violate their First Amendment right to free speech and their equal protection rights because it allows political parties to spend unlimited amounts of money, while limiting contributions from other sources.
The PAC was not surprised by the ruling saying, “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle.”
October 8, 2012 •
Preliminary injunction denied, plaintiffs to appeal and continue fight
A federal court rejected an injunction trying to overturn Illinois’ political contribution law. Illinois Liberty PAC filed for the injunction contending the state law violated its First Amendment right to free speech. Illinois law limits the amount individuals, PACs, unions, and corporations may give to candidates each election. However, the law does not limit what political parties may contribute to a campaign.
Illinois Liberty PAC contended that if it was limited in what it could contribute, everybody should be limited. United State District Judge Gary Feinerman disagreed, holding that the injunction “would create a manifest possibility of actual or apparent corruption” and cause harm to the state’s citizens.
This ruling will not be the end of the case. Illinois Liberty PAC plans on filing an emergency motion with the appellate court in hopes of suspending the limits for the upcoming November election. Also, the courts will eventually have to rule on the constitutionality of Illinois’ contribution limits.
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