Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission v. Bennett

Posted on August 06, 2013 | Type: Case
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What happened to bring about this challenge?

This past legislative session, the Arizona legislature passed House Bill 2593, which made three major changes to Arizona's political contribution limits. The new law dramatically raised the amount that each individual or committee can give to a candidate, it eliminated the aggregate political action committee limit, and it eliminated the individual aggregate limit. 

The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission filed a lawsuit claiming that this new law violated the Voter Protection Act. They argue that voters protected the prior limits when they passed the Clean Elections Act. 

The Goldwater Institute is arguing that the court should not strike the new contribution limits and can't grant the plaintiffs in this case the relief they seek because it would effectively re-institute old contribution limits, which violate the free speech rights of candidates, political committees, and individual contributors in Arizona. 

Who is the judge?

The Honorable Mark Brain

What are the key issues?

The motion filed by the Goldwater Institute, asserts that previous campaign finance laws—those which the case’s plaintiffs hope to restore—violates First Amendment rights to free speech and free association because they both limit the ability of candidates to raise money and the ability of groups of individuals to give money to the candidates who represented their interests. 

Case Documents

Motion to Intervene

Exhibits A-D

Press Releases

Legal Team

Kurt Altman is a Senior Attorney for the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. Kurt has operated a private litigation and appellate practice, focusing on criminal law in both state and federal courts. Previously, Kurt spent a number of years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, leading investigations and conducting trial in Federal District Court.
Clint Bolick is the Goldwater Institute’s litigation director. He has extensive success before trial judges and appellate courts. He has won two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was named as a Lawyer of the Year in 2003 by American Lawyer magazine.


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