AG Luther Strange lauds federal campaign finance ruling

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Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said Monday that a federal court has upheld of a state law that prohibits transfers of political contributions from one PAC to another PAC.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ruled in favor of the state last Friday in the case of Alabama Democratic Conference v. Strange.

The court ruled the state has an interest at hand — preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption — so compelling that despite a raft of recent rulings claiming such contributions and transfers are 1st Amendment-protected speech, Alabama did not act improperly in restricting them.

The ruling stated that although campaign contributions and transfers thereof should be given the presumption of legality since they are de jure equivalent to political speech, Alabama’s law was crafted carefully enough to avoid encroaching on that speech. The court ruled moreover the law was properly aimed at prohibiting only the kinds of illicit transfers of campaign cash primarily aimed at hiding the original source, thereby evading public scrutiny.

Strange applauded the move in a release Monday.

“I am pleased that the Court has upheld this important tool in Alabama’s ongoing fight against public corruption,” said Strange, first elected AG in 2010 after ousting incumbent Troy King in a GOP primary. “We will continue to defend the PAC-to-PAC transfer law whenever necessary.”

Strange also commended his office’s Will Parker, an assistant AG in the Constitutional Defense Division.

The ruling was a coup for Strange, who is an ardent supporter of a strong state role within the nation’s federal system.

The plaintiff had sought relief against the state’s head law enforcement officer, saying the law was an unnecessarily onerous burden on political activity.

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