Montana Case Will Be Back at 9th Circuit

Judge Lowell has now issued a 38-page opinion explaining his reasoning in striking down Montana’s campaign finance laws.  I’m at the airport with no time to read this now.

I would note that while this removes one objection of the 9th Circuit to the judge’s order (his lack of reasoning), I still think it is fairly likely that the 9th Circuit keeps this stay in place until after the election.  The reason is that the Supreme Court in the Purcell case (cited in the 9th circuit order) cautions about changes in election rules just before the objection.  That concern animated the DC Court’s approval of South Carolina’s voter id case, but not until after this election.

There’s room for lots of confusion when rules are changed just before the election, and the 9th Circuit could well keep the stay in place until after this election, when there will be ample time to sort this out.

ATP’s statement on Judge Lowell’s ruling is here.

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