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Federal judge allows Connecticut campaign finance law challenge to proceed

[JURIST] US District Judge Stefan Underhill of the District of Connecticut [official website] has ruled [opinion, PDF; ACLU-CT press release] that a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] challenging the constitutionality of certain portions of Connecticut's campaign finance law [PDF text] could proceed. Connecticut's Green Party, Libertarian Party, and American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in July 2006, arguing that the law made it impossible for minor party candidates to qualify for public financing of their campaigns. In a ruling issued last week, Underhill specifically dismissed a First Amendment challenge to the law, but said he will consider arguments that the law is unfair to smaller candidates.

The Connecticut General Assembly [official website] originally passed [JURIST report] the campaign finance law on December 1, 2005, and Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell [official website] subsequently signed the bill into law [press release]. The campaign finance law bans political contributions from lobbyists, their spouses, and state contractors, limits contributions of political action committees, and closes a loophole that previously allowed unregulated corporate donations. AP has more.

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