Arizona's Public Financing Law Successfully Defended by the Brennan Center

May 10, 2007

For Immediate Release:

May 10, 2007

Contact:

Susan Lehman, 212-998-6318

Mike Webb, 212-998-6318

Deborah Goldberg, 212-998-6748

Arizona’s Public Financing Law Successfully Defended by the Brennan Center

Today, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law successfully defended Arizona’s public financing program.  In a ruling handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court dismissed appeals by the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons and former candidates as moot, leaving the publicly-funded election system in place.  The appeal was the sixth challenge to the election law.

“Arizona’s election program is one of the most innovative in the country and a model for other states,” said Deborah Goldberg, the Director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.  “ We’re pleased the court upheld the program and believe the numerous challenges to the law show that the program passes all the Constitutional concerns that have been raised.”

The plaintiffs in the case alleged that the law’s contribution limits, reporting requirements, and matching funds provisions unconstitutionally compel them to opt into the program.  Additionally, the AAPS alleged the Act unconstitutionally neutralizes the independent spenders voice by giving matching funds to candidates the Association opposed.  The court held that the parties did not show sufficient cause for injury and dismissed the case.  Reagan appointee, Judge John T. Noonan, wrote the unanimous opinion in the case.

The Brennan Center for Justice is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that helped write and defend the McCain-Feingold law (also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act).  The Center is also actively seeking campaign finance reform in other states across the country, as well as defending a new election statute in Maine.