US judge says Illinois campaign finance law constitutional
A federal judge says current Illinois law that sets limits on how much political action committees can give candidates but allows political parties give as much as they want is constitutional.
Wednesday’s ruling follows a two-day bench trial in a civil lawsuit brought by the conservative Illinois Liberty PAC. It argued that letting parties and their legislative leaders contribute as much as they want to candidates while limiting what PACs and individuals can contribute violates rights to free speech.
Earlier, the same judge in Chicago dismissed other claims in the lawsuit. The trial focused more narrowly on the PAC’s objections to spending by legislative caucus committees. Judge Gary Feinerman found they’re essentially extensions of parties, so not subject to the law’s spending restrictions.
The plaintiffs say they intend to appeal.