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Federal Judge Says State Campaign Contributions Law Is Constitutional

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

A federal district judge says the Illinois campaign contributions law can stand as it is.

But a lawsuit supported by the conservative-backed Liberty Justice Center says it will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The group's attorney, Jacob Huebert, says the law is unconstitutional because it gives special treatment to legislative leaders. 

While contributions for other campaign committees are limited, committees run by the four top legislators can give candidates as much as they want during a general election.

"It's very easy for the leader to be in a position to effectively buy off people, or threaten people, who would challenge his leadership," Huebert said,
"and so this ability to give all this money helps them stay in that position. They can use it to maintain their own power,"

In his ruling, District Court Judge Gary Feinerman wrote that, if leaders abused their positions for corrupt aims and personal agendas, voters or other legislators could unseat them.

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