As Bert Brandenburg noted earlier this week, the Fourth Circuit delivered some good news for public financing advocates last Thursday by unanimously upholding North Carolina’s system of public funding for judicial campaigns. This is a major victory for citizens concerned about fair and impartial courts.
The North Carolina decision is one of multiple recent developments on the public financing front. On the same day that the Fourth Circuit issued its decision, plaintiffs in Arizona filed an amended complaint against the matching funds provisions of that state’s public funding program for statewide and legislative races. The case is back in the District Court after going up to the Ninth Circuit and then getting remanded.
Finally, in late March, a federal district court judge dismissed the core challenges to Connecticut’s public financing law, ruling that the matching funds provided by that system do not violate the free speech rights of non-participating opponents and independent spenders.
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