The vote is not all that surprising given that since Randall v. Sorrell, courts generally have not struck down campaign finance limits as unconstitutionally too low. (I helped defend San Diego’s limits against such a challenge in the Thalheimer litigation.)
What is perhaps more surprising is that newly appointed judge James Ho, joined by Judge Edith Jones, issued a blistering dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc, essentially adopting Justice Thomas’s extreme position that all campaign contribution limits are unconstitutional, and offering challengers what the judge considers to be a more successful path to bring another challenge to the Austin City Limits.
As Howard notes, Judge Willett did not join in this rehearing en banc dissent.
Jim Ho's law clerks should have urged that he take this passage out. It reads like a politician's op-ed, not a legal opinion; judges should stick to law. https://t.co/HiAmm0AsZH pic.twitter.com/ISKdJlKDVS
— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) April 19, 2018