AP reports:. “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Montana’s campaign donation limits, telling the federal judge who overturned it to outline his full reasoning so the panel can review the case. The court intervened late Tuesday less than a week after the judge’s decision opened the door to unlimited money in state elections — during the height of election season…. Over the past week, Montana election officials had urged candidates to abide by the old limits. But attorneys for conservative and Republican groups advised candidates they could take unlimited money during that window.”
I expected this reversal. Here’s my earlier post:
Breaking: Federal Court Strikes Down Many Montana Contribution Limits, Says Explanation Coming Later
Wow. See this 5 page order, striking down Montana Code Annotated 13-37-216 in its entirety. The judge did note that plaintiffs did not challenge the aggregate limits on political committee [corrected] contributions in 13-27-218 which remains in effect.
It seems quite unusual for a judge to do this right before the election, and to do so without giving any reasoning (just a promise of reasoning to come later). I expect Montana will go immediately to the Ninth Circuit for emergency relief, and judging from the last time a judge decided an important election question just before the election without giving any reasoning, there could well be an order staying this result, at least for this election.
Below the fold you can read the text of what’s now enjoined.