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Illinois new campaign finance law challenged by Personal PAC

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below, release from Personal PAC

Earlier today, Personal PAC, and two of its supporters, filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago, bringing a constitutional challenge to Illinois's campaign-finance law.

Personal PAC is a bipartisan statewide political action committee that works to elect Democratic and Republican candidates who support reproductive rights and family planning services to many state and local offices in Illinois.

The new lawsuit aims to invalidate two provisions in Illinois's campaign finance law on the ground that both are clear violations of the First Amendment. The first challenged provision currently limits contributions to political action committees, including placing a $10,000 limit on contributions by individuals. The second provision currently prevents any person from establishing or maintaining more than one political action committee. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that both provisions are flatly unconstitutional as a result of the United States Supreme Court's landmark campaign-finance decision in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010.

Juliet Berger-White, of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., an attorney for Personal PAC and two of its supporters, stated that "The United States Supreme Court changed the rules for campaign finance restrictions in Citizens United. However, Illinois has not followed suit. Illinois law cannot forbid what the First Amendment requires. Personal PAC and its supporters are only trying to fully exercise their First Amendment rights." With the March primary fast approaching, Personal PAC is seeking expedited review of the case and an injunction that would prevent enforcement of the law as it applies to independent expenditures on behalf of candidates. A quick decision would enable Personal PAC and its donors to fully participate in the March and November 2012 Illinois election contests.

Terry Cosgrove, President and CEO of Personal PAC, stated, "With so much at stake, we cannot win elections with one arm tied behind our back. The unconstitutional restrictions on contributions in the Illinois law prevented us from collecting tens of thousands of dollars in donations that we were legally entitled to last year. We want to remedy that wrong so that Personal PAC can continue to effectively advocate for the rights of women and girls in Illinois."



PDF OF THE LAWSUIT

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 14, 2012 2:02 PM.

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