The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied a rehearing en banc of a case challenging Montana's political campaign contribution limits.
A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit on Nov. 6, 2017, reversed a Helena District Court decision in Lair v. Motl that overturned Montana's campaign contribution restrictions.
In a dissent to the denial of an en banc rehearing, Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote that the majority contravened campaign finance law precedent established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases. The dissent argued that to demonstrate a sufficiently important state interest for its contribution limits, Montana needed to produce evidence that quid pro quo arrangements between candidates and donors actually exist.
In a response to the dissent, Judges Raymond C. Fisher and Mary H. Murguia wrote that that evidentiary burden has never been adopted by the Supreme Court or the Ninth Circuit.