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Spin Control

Posts tagged: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

9th Circuit keeps donor restrictions on ballot measures

OLYMPIA — Washington’s $5,000 limit on donations to initiative campaigns in the last three weeks of the election should remain in place for now, a federal appeals court ruled.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled last month the state’s limit on contributions was an unconstitutional infringement on free speech, although he kept in place a requirement that anyone giving more than $25 be named.

Family PAC, an arm of the socially conservative Family Policy Institute of Washington, had argued that the monetary limit clearly violated a person’s right to free speech, which includes the right to make contributions to causes they want to advance.

With the November 2 election looming and nine measures on the statewide ballot, the state asked for a temporary stay of that ruling as it presses its appeal. The 9th Circuit Court agreed this week, saying Washington and its voters “have a significant interest in preventing the state’s longstanding campaign finance laws from being upended by the courts so soon before the upcoming election.”

Under the rule, a campaign can’t receive a contribution from any donor in the last three weeks before an election that would bring that person or group’s total contributions to more than $5,000. There is an exeption for state political party committees.

9th Circ: Release the names

Washington state can release the names and addresses of people who signed the petion for Referendum 71, a ballot measure that attempts to peel back the latest changes to the state’s domestic partnership laws, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said today.

A 9th Circuit panel this morning revesed a trial court ruling that releasing the names could chill the First Amendment rights of petition signmers. But the names aren’t going to be released right now, because a separate court ruling in Thurston County has a temporary restraining order blocking that.

To read the Associated Press’s latest version, go inside the blog. We’ll try to keep it updated regularly.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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