Minnesota Pro-Life Election Lawsuit Loses in Court Decision

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 14, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Minnesota Pro-Life Election Lawsuit Loses in Court Decision

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
November 14, 2003

Minneapolis, MN (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has ruled that several state statutes on campaign finance regulations did not violate the First Amendment rights of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

Some of the statutes MCCL found fault with included the restriction on contributions from lobby and advocacy groups to 20% of a campaign’s income, and prohibiting other elected officials from contributing to another candidate’s campaign.

The court did agree with MCCL that a statute restricting who can publish materials anonymously should be changed to allow more groups to distribute information on candidates without their name on the materials.

Most of the laws and statutes MCCL sought to nullify stemmed from a 1993 overhaul of campaign finance laws.

On the issue of contribution restrictions, Attorney General Mike Hatch argued that prior to the 1993 changes, donations of special interest groups flooded campaigns, unfairly benefiting incumbents.

But MCCL’s attorney James Bopp told the judge the contribution limits limited certain groups’ ability to participate with candidates in the election process, forcing the candidates to turn groups away after they had reached the 20% threshold.

In an interview with the Minneapolis Tribune, Bopp called the "reform" laws attempts "by incumbents to drive people out of participating in democracy…Almost any regulation of elections benefits incumbents."

Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, has told LifeNews.com they will continually fight for the freedom to speak out for the unborn.

"We will fight legislatively, administratively and in the courts any and all attempts to limit our freedom of speech. If campaign finance laws silence our participation in the political process, the unborn and their mothers will have no voice," said Fischbach. "The bottom line on the lawsuit is that we must protect our right to freedom of speech."

Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – https://www.mccl.org