The Supreme Court today denied a request for the Court to review the decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Green Party v. Lenge that upheld the constitutionality of the provisions of the Connecticut public financing law for the financing of minor party candidates.
This is an important victory for the people of Connecticut, for the Connecticut public financing law and for the cause of public financing of elections. It leaves the Connecticut public financing system intact and free to continue functioning as enacted by the legislature.
Today’s Supreme Court decision confirms that public financing of elections is alive and well. The battle for public financing of elections nationally and in the states will proceed full steam ahead.
The decision today comes one day after the Supreme Court in Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett struck down a provision of the Arizona public financing law that provided “trigger funds” for publicly financed candidates. “Trigger funds” are additional public funds that are given to publicly financed candidates who face large expenditures by opposing privately-financed candidates and by outside groups. The Connecticut public financing law does not contain ‘trigger funds” provisions.
The Supreme Court’s decision today is consistent with the Court’s longstanding position since the 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo that public financing of elections is a constitutional and viable means for financing elections in this country and for combating government corruption.
Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer managed Democracy 21’s pro bono legal team that represented intervening defendant Common Cause in the Supreme Court in the Green Party case, and was a lawyer in the case.
The Democracy 21 legal team in the Supreme Court was led by former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman and Randy Moss of WilmerHale and Scott Nelson of the Public Citizen Litigation Group. Other lawyers in the case included attorneys from Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center. Also representing the intervener defendants in the case in the Supreme Court were lawyers from the Brennan Center for Justice and Hogan Lovells.