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CT Ends Contribution Cap After Court Decision

HARTFORD – The Center for Competitive Politics has urged Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to respond quickly to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, a ruling that ensures that Connecticut does not continue to violate its citizens’ First Amendment rights.

In McCutcheon, the Court ruled that citizens could not be limited in how much they spend overall on contributions to political candidates, parties and PACs in each election cycle. To ensure compliance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court ruling states that the state should repeal Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-611(c) as soon as possible.

In response, Connecticut’s Elections Enforcement Commission released an advisory opinion on Thursday, saying that it “will not enforce the aggregate contribution limits from individuals to various committees” in the state law because the law is unconstitutional under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. 

With the ruling, Connecticut becomes the fourth state to announce it will halt enforcement of such laws.

The Supreme Court’s April ruling in the case McCutcheon v. FEC. CCP’s letter is cited by the Commission’s opinion.

CCP reports that similar laws in as many as 17 states and the District of Columbia are constitutionally suspect.

“We’re pleased the Commission promptly confirmed that the law was unconstitutional and announced it would halt its enforcement,” said David Keating, CCP President. “To ensure full compliance with the First Amendment, Connecticut should also repeal this law as soon as possible. We hope the legislature and governor will act soon to complete the job started by the Commission.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the Court, “The Government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.”

The Commission’s opinion notes that it “will continue to apply and enforce” the contribution limits “a donor can give to a single candidate or committee.”

A copy of CCP’s letter to Connecticut officials is available here.

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