, ,

On June 8th the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order [pdf] effectively shutting down Arizona’s public campaign finance system (Citizens Clean Election Commission) for this election cycle:

(ORDER LIST: 560 U.S.)




The application to vacate the stay of the District Court’s injunction and to stay the mandate of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in case No. 10-15165 presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is granted pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari. Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this order shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the order shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.

Election subsidies blocked

Pending review by Justices

Lyle Denniston | Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 10:26 am

The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning blocked the state of Arizona from releasing further subsidy payments to candidates who are running for state offices this year with public financing.  The order was issued without any noted dissent.  The Court specified that the order would stay in effect until the Court acts on a coming appeal by challengers to the subsidy scheme.  If review is granted, the order will stay in effect in the meantime, until a ruling emerges….

Oopsie, now there are serious problems. Those candidates who opted into the public finance system (along with its limitations) are now left holding an empty bag. The Arizona commission issued the following press release yesterday:


PHOENIX, (June 9, 2010) -The Citizens Clean Elections Commission (Commission), the state agency that administers the Citizens Clean Elections Act, has taken two steps in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unexpected ruling that struck down matching funds.

The Commission has asked Governor Brewer to call for a special legislative session to increase funds awarded to participating candidates in order to reduce the unfair effects of the ruling. In addition, the Commission is researching whether some clarification of an earlier U.S. District Court ruling might allow the Commission to declare an emergency and provide relief to impacted candidates.

“Candidates ran using the Clean Elections system with the understanding that the current funding levels would be in place for the entire election cycle,” said Todd Lang, Executive Director for the Commission. “The legislature can remedy the situation by increasing the funding amount to the level expected by the people when they passed the Clean Elections Act, or by allowing participating candidates to drop out when funding is reduced.”

Participating candidates are awarded matching funds if their traditional opponent(s) spends more than the participating candidate receives from the Commission. In addition a participating candidate may receive matching funds based on independent expenditures made either against their campaign or for their opponent(s). The funding is capped at three times the original spending limit….


Missouri campaign finance legislation: same planet, different worlds (February 14, 2008)

What are the odds that the Missouri General Assembly would ever support public campaign finance legislation? No need to answer, it was a rhetorical question.

Let’s fudge a little on the First Amendment, shall we? (March 13, 2010)

A million here and a million there… (June 4, 2010)

Okay, I’ll answer anyway. Not in a million years.

Coupled with Citizens United [pdf] it’s clear that the Roberts Court believes that those who have the gold get to rule.