Courthouse News Service: Voters Lose Protest of Campaign-Contribution Ceilings (In the News)

Courthouse News Service: Voters Lose Protest of Campaign-Contribution Ceilings

By Daniel W. Staples

Upholding contribution ceilings in federal election law, the en banc D.C. Circuit rejected claims Tuesday from Florida voters who wanted to forgo campaign donations in the primary season to double up in the general election.

In 2014, the election year that prompted the underlying challenge, federal base limits prevented any individual from contributing more than $2,600 to a candidate in each election for which the candidate was competing.

Primary and general elections are considered separate elections, however, so the same donor could contribute $2,600 to the same candidate for each contest.

Laura Holmes and Paul Jost, a married couple living in Florida, challenged the scheme as an unconstitutional bifurcation of what they construed as an overall $5,200 cap…

Allen Dickerson, an attorney for Holmes and Jost with the Institute for Free Speech, called the ruling a disappointment and said they might appeal.

“The FEC has never shown that restricting campaign contributions on the basis of the time of year they are given prevents corruption,” said Dickerson, who is legal director of the institute. “Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals deferred to Congress, and left intact a situation that is illogical and unfair to both candidates and donors.”

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The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.