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Tuesday
Jun282011

Arizona Law on Extra Public Election Funds Deemed Unconstitutional

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Arizona law providing additional funds to political candidates who receive public rather than private contributions is unconstitutional.

By a five-to-four vote, the high court said Arizona's attempt at leveling the playing field impinged free speech rights.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "The state grants funds to publicly financed candidates as a direct result of the speech of privately financed candidates and their" backers.

In essence, the decision of the five conservative judges does not end publicly funded campaigns but it does prevent states from trying to match contributions other candidates receive from wealthy private donors.

In the minority opinion of the court's liberal wing, Justice Elena Kagan said, "The majority's denigration of this interest...wrongly prevents Arizona from protecting the strength and integrity of its democracy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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