Russell v. Burris; Arkansas Right to Life v. Butler
Campaign Finance Reform
The Center represented proponents of Arkansas’ 1996 ballot initiative on campaign finance in defending the initiative in two lawsuits in which it was challenged.
The Russell case went to trial in 1997, and the Brennan Center was victorious on several issues. Among other provisions, the court upheld $100 contribution limits for legislative races.
The 8th Circuit then reversed the decision, and the Supreme Court denied review. The district court subsequently also held several of the Arkansas provisions unconstitutional in the Arkansas Right to Life case.
The analyses and holdings in these cases, however, have been seriously undermined by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC. See Russell v. Burris 146 F.3d 563 (8th Cir. 1998).