League Submits Brief to Supreme Court

Support for Limiting MoNey in Politics

The League of Women Voters of Oregon and the League of Women Voters of Portland have submitted a Friend of the Court Brief (Amicus Brief) to the Oregon Supreme Court. We are supporting the right of voters to limit campaign contributions in Multnomah County elections. In 2016, Multnomah County voters passed Ballot Measure 26-184 with 89% yes votes! It was an outstanding victory for reforming money in politics. If enacted, the measure would limit campaign contributions to $500 or less per person for each candidate. It would not allow contributions to candidates from corporations. It also would require that candidates disclose their five largest donors in campaign ads.

The League strongly believes in reducing the influence of money in politics. So we support Multnomah County in arguing that the measure  should take effect. You can read our Brief here: S066445_amicus_brief_lwvor

The Case

The case before the Oregon Supreme Court is about the constitutionality of campaign contribution limits in Oregon.

Opponents of the measure argue that limiting campaign contributions violates the free speech clause in Oregon’s Constitution. However, 45 other states have limits on contributions to candidates and 37 of them have free speech clauses in their constitutions. There is persuasive evidence that large donations give donors more access to lawmakers and more influence over the laws that are passed or defeated. In addition, Oregon is the only state that doesn’t identify the sources of funding for political ads. Our Brief cites these reasons to show that the measure is constitutional.

We understand that the Supreme Court will hear this case on November 1, 2019.