The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed on Tuesday a lower-court order that struck down campaign contribution limits in Montana, and Justice at Stake applauded “a victory for fair and impartial courts and the people of Montana.”
The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit remanded the case of Lair v. Bullock back to the lower court, finding that the lower court had not used the correct standard of review in its initial ruling. The ruling on Tuesday keeps in place campaign contribution limits set by Montana, which apply to elections including state judicial elections.
JAS Deputy Executive Director Liz Seaton said in a statement, “These limits provide essential protections in our justice system when judges are elected. It is important to prevent the kind of outsized donations by a single lawyer, group or party that run the risk of influencing courtroom decisions.”
Justice at Stake submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in the appeal last year (see Gavel Grab), saying the lower court had misapplied relevant Supreme Court precedent and defied the settled law of the Ninth Circuit. Also signing that brief were The Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters, and Common Cause.