State Appeals Court Orders Judge To Reconsider Higher Campaign Contribution Limits

October 24, 2013

The state Court of Appeals has ordered a lower court to reconsider a challenge to higher campaign contribution limits — and it kept the old limits in place for the time being.

Earlier this year, Republicans in the state legislature passed a bill that raised the amount a candidate for office can accept from an individual or a PAC. They can now take $4,000, about ten times the previous limit.

A group including the Arizona Clean Elections Commission sued, arguing the move violated contribution limits approved by voters in 1998.

In September, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain allowed the law to go into effect. Last week, the Arizona Court of Appeals blocked the higher contribution limits. And Thursday, the appellate court vacated Brain’s decision and sent it back to his court.

The decision orders him to reconsider the plaintiffs’ request to block the law. And it wants the lower court to consider whether the law voters approved 15 years ago set firm contribution limits, or created a formula allowing limits to be adjusted.