SC denies petition challenging Iowa campaign finance law

By David Yates | Apr 15, 2014

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - On April 7, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition challenging an Iowa law banning corporate contributions in state elections.

Court records show that on Sept. 27, Iowa Right to Life Committee, an anti-abortion group, filed a writ of certiorari with the high court against Megan Tooker, executive director for the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

The petition sought a review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to uphold the ban.

The appellate court found that Iowa's ban was constitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, court records show.

The Iowa Right to Life petition argued in part that banning corporate, but not union, political contributions violates equal protection and free speech.

The decision to deny the petition came a week after the Supreme Court struck down overall campaign contribution limits in case of McCutcheon v. Federal Ethics Commission.

On April 2, justices ruled that donors, under the First Amendment, have the right to give the legal maximum to as many federal candidates and political committees as they see fit.

The case stems from Iowa Right to Life suing Iowa after the state revised its laws in light of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court said corporations and unions could make unlimited independent expenditures that are not coordinated with a campaign.

The Iowa law was altered to allow for independent expenditures by corporations and unions but the ban on direct contributions to candidates and committees by corporations was left intact, according to a Reuters news article.

U.S. Supreme Court case No. 13-407

From Legal Newsline: Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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