Judge Rules Against Contribution Limits In NY “Super PAC” Regulations

New York’s $150,000 limit on an annual political contributions from an individal was struck down yesterday, as federal judge Paul Crotty ruled that such the limit was a violation of the First Amendment in its application to independent groups.

As reported in Reuters,

“… Crotty said the statutes could not survive First Amendment scrutiny in light of recent landmark Supreme Court decisions that have lessened restrictions on big-money political donors. He noted that personally, he disagrees with the high court.

“I think there is a risk of quid pro quo corruption, but the Supreme Court has not recognized it,” he said during a hearing in Manhattan federal court. “We know what the Supreme Court has held, whether we like it or not, and I’m bound to follow it.”


The New York laws had limited the amount of money individual donors could contribute to independent political committees, known as super PACs, that operate separately from a candidate’s campaign. Under Crotty’s ruling, super PACs can now raise unlimited funds, though committees that coordinate with parties or candidates are still subject to limits.

In October, the federal appeals court in New York blocked the state from enforcing the laws in question, pending the disposition of the underlying case, and noted that similar laws had been struck down elsewhere.

Crotty’s decision came just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that donors could contribute funds to as many candidates, parties and committees as they wish, in a case brought by a Republican businessman, Alabama resident Shaun McCutcheon, challenging federal caps. The court did not alter the rules that limit the amount of money donors can give to any one candidate.” ┬áRead more here at Reuters.

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