The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Monday upheld a preliminary injunction preventing the enforcement of an Arkansas campaign-finance law, which the appellee claimed violated her First Amendment rights.
Peggy Jones filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas and contended that Ark. Code § 7-6-203(e) was unconstitutional because it created a two-year blackout period that prevented her from donating to 2022 state office candidates.
Judge David Stras discussed the issues on appeal: if Jones had legal standing and whether the granted injunction was proper. The appellants, Larry Jegley and members of the Arkansas Ethics Commission, argued that Jones did not have standing because she was not injured by the statute that she claimed was unconstitutional. The court declined this argument by noting that “[she] would donate to candidates running in the 2022 elections if it were not illegal to do so.” Through Supreme Court precedent, Stras determined that Jones was likely to succeed on her merits because Arkansas did not prove that the statute prevented corruption. Thus, the granting of the injunction by the trial court was proper.
The case was remanded for further proceedings.