Extra Public Funding for North Carolina Judicial Candidates Declared Unconstitutional

On May 16, U.S. District Court Judge Louise W. Flanagan struck down North Carolina’s provision for extra public funding for judicial candidates who have privately-funded opponents who raise a great deal of campaign contributions, or who are the beneficiaries of large independent expenditures on their behalf. The case is North Carolina Right to Life PAC v Leake, 5:11-cv-472, eastern district.

The decision was no surprise, because the U.S. Supreme Court already ruled last year in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v Bennett, that this type of public funding is unconstitutional. The only real issue in the recent North Carolina case is whether the state could defend itself by saying it no longer pays this kind of extra public funding. The state said, since it won’t make such payments, the case is moot. But the judge said the case is not moot just because the government promises not to follow the program. The opinion says, “Dismissal on mootness grounds is inappropriate if the defendant voluntarily ceases the allegedly improper behavior but is free to return to it at any time.” Thanks to the Center for Competitive Elections for this news.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: