Another Attack on State Campaign Finance Laws Turned Back in Texas

In a sweeping decision issued late yesterday, a Texas Court upheld numerous Texas campaign finance laws that had been challenged on constitutional grounds in Texas Democratic Party, et al. v. King Street Patriots, et al. Judge John K. Dietz of the District Court of Travis County Texas issued the final summary judgment in the challenge to provisions of Texas campaign finance law, including the state restriction on corporate contributions to candidates, officeholders and political committees, and the disclosure and organizational requirements applicable to political committees.

“The decision represents the latest in a string of victories against an aggressive nationwide litigation blitz aimed at overturning a host of state campaign finance laws in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Campaign Legal Center Executive Director.  “Judge Dietz saw right through the unsubstantiated attempt by attorneys for the King Street Patriots to imply that Citizens United extended to corporate contribution restrictions and disclosure requirements despite the fact that the case did not address the former and upheld the latter by an 8-1 majority.”

The Texas Democratic Party originally alleged that the King Street Patriots, a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation, made in-kind contributions to the state Republican Party in violation of Texas’s restriction on corporate political contributions, and failed to register as a “political committee” and comply with state disclosure law.  The King Street Patriots, in response, filed a broad counterclaim challenging numerous provisions of Texas campaign finance law.

The Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus brief in the case to defend the constitutionality of Texas’s campaign finance laws.  The Legal Center was supported in the case by the law firm of Gray and Becker in Austin, Texas.

The summary judgment allows the original Texas Democratic Party action to move forward seeking damages and declaratory and injunctive relief in connection to several violations of state campaign finance laws allegedly committed by the King Street Patriots.

To read the summary judgment, click here.

To read the Legal Center’s amicus brief opposing the King Street Patriots’s counterclaim, click here.