Federal Judge Orders Minnesota to Stop Enforcing Restrictive Campaign Finance Law

by - May 20, 2014

Today, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank issued a dramatic ruling that will greatly expand the freedom of political speech in Minnesota’s 2014 state elections. Judge Frank ordered state officials to cease enforcement of a long-standing Minnesota campaign finance law called the “special sources limit” as it applies to contributions from ordinary citizens. The lawsuit was filed by the Institute for Justice, a non-partisan, public-interest law firm. The special sources limit dishes out First Amendment rights on a first-come, first-served basis. The law cuts in half the maximum contribution an ordinary citizen can make to a candidate after that candidate receives a certain amount of money from donors donating more than half the legal limit. For example, if a candidate for State House receives 12 contributions of $1,000, the thirteenth contributor (and all subsequent contributors) may give no more than $500. As a result, early contributors have a greater ability to support the candidate of their choice than those who contribute later.

Source: The Institute for Justice

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