State of Alaska v. Jacobus
Campaign Finance Reform
In October 2001, the Center, representing Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold and Representatives Christopher Shays and Martin Meehan, filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Brennan Center argued that the District Court for the District of Alaska improperly found a constitutional right for wealthy individuals and corporations to make “soft money” contributions to state parties in Alaska. The brief explained that because contributions to political parties can lead to corruption and the appearance of corruption, even if they are earmarked for “issue advocacy” spending, Alaska’s ban on corporate contributions to political parties is constitutional.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed in August 2003, holding constitutional individual contribution limits to state political parties and a ban on corporate and labor contributions to state political parties.