Republican Party of New Mexico, et al v. King, et al, No. 12-2015 (10th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The issue before the Tenth Circuit in this case centered on a matter of state campaign finance regulations in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in "Citizens United v. FEC," (558 U.S. 310 (2010)). Before "Citizens United" in 2010, New Mexico had introduced a new state campaign finance law that imposed a host of contribution and other limitations on political parties, political action committees, and donors to such entities. As pertains to this case, the state limited the amount an individual may contribute to a political committee. Potential donors, political parties, and political committees mounted an as-applied challenge to the law in federal district court, contending several of its provisions violated the First Amendment. The district court agreed and issued a preliminary injunction, enjoining the enforcement of two provisions: (1) limits on contributions to political committees for use in federal campaigns, and (2) limits on contributions to political committees that are to be used for independent expenditures. New Mexico appealed the latter ruling, contending that the limit on contributions furthers the state’s compelling interest in preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption in campaign spending. After careful consideration, the Tenth Circuit concluded the district court was correct that the challenged provision could not be reconciled with Citizens United and, as a result, did not err in entering a preliminary injunction.