Ninth Circuit lets ‘no limit’ campaign contribution ruling stand


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will not rehear the case on Alaska’s $500 campaign finance limits.

The apparent meaning is there are no limits on on donations to campaigns in Alaska, until new campaign contribution laws are passed.

A judge on the Ninth Circuit asked that the ruling be heard by a larger panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

But the State of Alaska never requested that the court do so, and with the state uninterested in an appeal, the judge, whose name has not been revealed, withdrew the request for the en banc hearing.

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that Alaska’s draconian $500 campaign contribution ceiling “significantly restrict the amount of funds available to challengers to run competitively against incumbents.”

The lawsuit Thompson vs. Hebdon has been dragging on for seven years. During that time, one of the plaintiffs, Aaron Downing, died. The other plaintiffs are Jim Crawford and David Thompson. 

The men had challenged the State of Alaska’s statute that puts a $500 annual limit on an individual contribution to a political candidate, (2) the $500 limit on an individual contribution to a non-political party group, (3) annual limits on what a political party—including its subdivisions—may contribute to a candidate, and (4) the annual aggregate limit on contributions a candidate may accept from nonresidents of Alaska.

The decision went to the Supreme Court, which partially remanded it back to the Ninth Circuit. There, two judges made the decision in favor of the plaintiffs, saying the $500 limit is unconstitutional.

The Dunleavy Administration could have asked for the full Ninth Circuit to hear the case en band, but did not, even though Democrats begged him to quite publicly. The $500 limit works best for Democrats because their candidates enjoy more funding from unions.

Instead, another judge on the panel asked for the rehearing, likely at the request of Democrat Party interests; those interests control much of the judicial system.


  1. Until America quits doing corporate funding on campaigns, elections will always be bought. If my history serves me right, I believe Teddy Roosevelt had pushed and succeeded in not allowing corporations buying elections.
    To get the real “will of the people” it will always be won by who spends the most.

    • Instead of campaigning on policy, they will buy their seat in office. Those who can’t afford representation will be left in the dark. Corporate greed will prevail.

      • Corporate greed IS and HAS been prevailing. This is why you have the legislature you have, the POTUS, etc.

  2. And it only took 11 years after the Supreme Court ruled on it for the 9th Circus to allow their ruling to stand.

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