LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Monday ruled against Arkansas preventing candidates for state office from accepting campaign contributions more than two years before an election, blocking the restriction from being enforced.
A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judge’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction against the state’s “blackout period.” A Pulaski County woman had sued over the restriction, and her attorneys argued it prevented her from exercising her First Amendment right to contribute money to candidates she wants to support in the 2022 election.
The court questioned the state’s argument that the blackout period helps prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption.
“Arkansas has not shown that contributions made more than two years before an election present a greater risk of actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption than those made later,” the ruling said.
U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr., who had issued the preliminary injunction, stayed his order while the state appealed to the 8th Circuit.