Group challenges Missouri law limiting campaign contributions

Tuesday, March 3, 1998

A political action group, Shrink Missouri Government, is suing the state ethics commission, the state attorney general and St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough over a state law that limits campaign contributions.

The group contends the $1,075 limit on campaign contributions violates First Amendment political free-speech rights.

A federal district court judge will hold a hearing this Thursday to determine whether to block enforcement of the contribution limits.

Denise Lieberman, legal director for the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, said: “People have free-speech rights to express themselves in the political arena. This is a serious First Amendment issue because individuals must be able to express political support for candidates of their choosing.”

The communications department of the state attorney general's office did not return a call.

Shrink Missouri Government is no stranger to challenging political campaign legislation. The group succeeded in having a federal appeals court strike down several provisions of Missouri's Campaign Finance Disclosure Law.

In Shrink Missouri Government PAC v. Maupin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit determined that certain contribution and expenditure limitations “limit the free exercise of political speech that the First Amendment guarantees.”

– First Amendment Center staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.