Challenges to Connecticut's Campaign Finance Reform Act, and Constitutional and Education Matters - U.S. Second Circuit
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Challenges to Connecticut's Campaign Finance Reform Act, and Constitutional and Education Matters

Green Pty. of Conn. v. Garfield, No. 09-0599, involved a First Amendment challenge to Connecticut's Campaign Finance Reform Act (CFRA).  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendants in part, holding that the CFRA comported with the First Amendment insofar as it bans contributions by state contractors, "prospective" state contractors, the "principals" of contractors and prospective state contractors, and the spouses and dependent children of those individuals.  However, the court reversed in part on the ground that the CFRA violated the First Amendment insofar as it banned contributions by lobbyists and their families and insofar as it prohibits contractors, lobbyists, and their families from soliciting contributions on behalf of candidates.

State of Conn. v. Duncan, No. 08-2437, concerned an action against the Secretary of Education, alleging that 1) the Secretary's interpretation of the so-called "Unfunded Mandates Provision" of the No Child Left Behind Act ("NCLBA") violated the State's statutory and constitutional rights by requiring the State to expend its own funds to comply with the Act, and 2) the Secretary violated the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") by denying the State's request for waivers from the NCLBA's requirements; rejecting the State's proposed amendments to its NCLBA accountability plan; and failing to provide the State a hearing on its proposed plan amendments.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for defendant, on the ground that that State's Unfunded Mandates Provision arguments were not yet ripe for judicial review.

Fox Tel. Stations, Inc. v. FCC, No. 06-1760, involved a petition for review of the indecency policy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The Second Circuit granted the petition on the ground that the FCC's policy violated the First Amendment because it was unconstitutionally vague, creating a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue.

Green Pty. of Conn. v. Garfield, No. 09-3760, concerned an action claiming that Connecticut's Citizen Election Program (CEP), a statutory scheme providing public funds for candidates running for state office, violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for plaintiffs in part on the ground that the CEP's so-called "trigger provisions" violated the First Amendment in a manner similar to the law struck down in Davis v. Federal Election Commission, 128 S. Ct. 2759 (2008).  However, the court reversed in part on the ground that the CEP did not unconstitutionally discriminate against minor-party candidates.

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