State ex rel. Loughry v. Tennant (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a candidate for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, invoked the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction seeking a writ of mandamus to compel Respondents, including the secretary of state and members of the state election commission, to comply with W. Va. Code 3-12-11(e) and approve the release of matching funds to his campaign. Petitioner, a participant in the Supreme Court Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program, argued that because he complied with the applicable requirements set forth in the Pilot Program, and because one of the privately finances candidates spent a sum sufficient to trigger the matching funds provisions, the election commission was statutorily required to disburse matching funds to his campaign. The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus requested by Petitioner, holding (1) the matching funds provisions set forth in the Pilot Program violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment; and (2) therefore, Petitioner failed to establish a clear legal right to the relief sought.