Court Rejects Provision of Arizona Public Financing Law

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Maurer said that the court's decision was an attempt to "level the playing field" and worked as a disincentive for candidates to exercise their First Amendment rights.

"What this case is about is whether the government can turn my act of speaking into the vehicle by which my political opponents benefit with direct government subsidies," Maurer said.

Proponents of campaign finance reform say that while today's decision will damage those public financing systems with a triggering mechanism, it doesn't affect other public financing systems.

"In another seriously misguided campaign finance decision, the Supreme Court today by a 5-4 vote has misinterpreted the Constitution to hold unconstitutional a form of public financing of elections enacted by the voters of Arizona to prevent government corruption," said Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21.

But he added, "As wrong as the court's decision today is, however, it does not cast any doubt on the continued viability or constitutionality of a number of other existing public financing systems that do not include "trigger funds" or similar provisions.

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