June 8th, 2010
12:17 PM ET
8 years ago

High court temporarily blocks Arizona election reform law

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has blocked for now a state election law that gives "matching funds" to help underfunded candidates in Arizona.

The justices, in a brief order Tuesday, temporarily told state officials not to distribute money under the Clean Elections law, which provides extra, taxpayer-funded support for office seekers who have been outspent by privately funded opponents or by independent political groups.

A federal appeals court in April approved parts of the sweeping campaign reform law. A group of mostly conservative groups –including several current and former Republican state legislators - filed the emergency appeal with the high court, saying their free speech rights were being hurt, and their private fundraising efforts would be stifled because of public election financing. They have succeeded in their efforts for now, while state campaigning is under way in an election year.

The Supreme Court's order allows a more thorough, detailed appeal to be filed in coming weeks by supporters of the law. There was no indication when the plaintiffs would seek to file such an petition.

The case is McComish v. Bennett (09A1163).

Filed under: Campaign finance • Supreme Court
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. John in Brooklyn

    Of course Republicans would be concerned aboutt his law, since it limits their ability to exercise the new;y-granted rights of corporatations to spend unlimited amounts on their fat cat candidates.

    And, of course, the Republican Supreme Court is happy to oblige....since, of course, protecting the "free speech" of the likes of Exxon and IBM is a worthy reason to issue an emergency halt to the law.

    Let's face it, this Supreme Court is hostile to ANY election reform laws which will in any way dilute the power of corporations to buy elections.

    June 8, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Who Cares?

    America should really understand that Elections from now will be solely decided by the five right-wing activists on the Supreme Court and by foriegn big business.

    Welcome to the New America, Inc.

    June 8, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Independant Vet

    As we know our Judicial system is not what it is suppose to be.

    Now that we have such a corrupt run Goverment , from the top down , playing the Ole Chicago Politics. Yet they will not harm the hand that feeds them

    Behind the curtain , the Democrats are twisting the arms of Bp , ( which was one of the big donors for Hussien . ) So close the door real quick , for the coming elections. Wright again.

    June 8, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    Tulsa June 8th, 2010 12:40 pm ET
    Once again, Republicans don't want anyone but the rich to be able to run for elected office. Screw them
    You are half correct Tulsa. It is a Dem issue too! Have you noticed the cost of any campaign, even locally the cost prevents many good people from running whether left or right! I know that upsets your bias but that is a fact!

    June 8, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Mesa Mick

    As usual, the best of 19th century thinking of AZ's backwards looking politicians are reflected in this law. After all, the political thinking during the 1800s was only the rich should have the privilage of running for public office, not some unwashed commoner.

    Public financing is the only FAIR way to finance elections but as long as we have a right-wing christian majority on the SCOTUS and the best politicians private money can buy it's gonna be "Governance of the people, by the Corporations for the Corporations" for quite sometime.

    June 8, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Dano

    I will NEVER understand how campaign contributions can be equated to free speech. What I'm doing now is free speech. Giving money to a politician with the understanding that he will vote a certain way is called bribery in any other profession!

    June 8, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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