Legal Alert: The Supreme Court Strikes Down Matching Funds in Political Campaigns


Characterizing the “matching funds” provision of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act as a “penalty,” the Supreme Court of the United States decided Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett and McComish v. Bennett this morning. This result had been widely predicted by legal experts after the March oral argument, when it appeared that at least five Justices had been persuaded by the arguments advanced by the Goldwater Institute and the Institute for Justice. The consolidated decision invalidates the matching funds and, as a result, participation in Arizona’s publicly financed campaign program is likely to drop precipitously. Moreover, individuals and corporations will likely gain greater influence in campaigns as their political spending will no longer trigger offsetting publicly financed expenditures.

Read the full alert.