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Federal Court Upholds Connecticut's Pay-to-Play Law

January 2009

On December 19, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut upheld Connecticut's broad pay-to-play contribution ban and granted summary judgment to the state. The court applied less exacting scrutiny than in political expenditure cases because the activity involved pertained to contributions, not expenditures, and thus was closer to the edge than the core of the First Amendment. The court found the pay-to-play and accompanying lobbying contribution and solicitation bans to be narrowly tailored to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption, which, the court said, was significant given Connecticut's recent history with corruption at the highest levels of state government. Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield, No. 3:06cv1030 (D. Conn. Dec. 19, 2008).