Tag Archives: Campaign Finance Board

High Court’s Recent Decision on Public Matching Funds Renders New York City’s Campaign Finance System Ripe for Constitutional Attack

By Larry Levy & Andrew Rafalaf*

            In a 5-4 decision last week, the Supreme Court found unconstitutional, once again, campaign finance laws that award public matching funds to candidates based upon the spending of personally financed opponents.  Under the challenged law in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett,[1]  (“Arizona”), candidates opting to participate in Arizona’s public financing program received significantly increased public funding when an opponent, or any independent expenditure group supporting that opponent or attacking the candidate, reached a set spending threshold.  The Court determined that the statute violated the First Amendment because this “trigger” mechanism threatened to, without sufficient justification, limit the spending of opponents or independent groups seeking to avoid triggering the additional matching funds.[2] Continue reading

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Election Law, Civil Procedure