[11-358] Contributions to noncandidate committees; limits. No person shall make contributions to a noncandidate committee in an aggregate amount greater than $1,000 in an election. This section shall not apply to ballot issue committees. [L 2010, c 211, pt of 2]

 

Case Notes

 

Contribution limit in this section is unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs' proposed contributions to an entity that engages in solely independent expenditures in excess of the statutory limit; plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction granted. 744 F. Supp. 2d 1075 (2010).

Plaintiffs, who sought a declaration stating that this section was facially unconstitutional at the preliminary injunction stage, would not likely succeed on the merits; this section's limitation appears to be valid as applied to contributions to a noncandidate committee that does not engage solely in independent expenditures; plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction denied as to this issue. 744 F. Supp. 2d 1075 (2010).

Plaintiff donors to political action committee had standing to challenge this section; they desired to and eventually made contributions that exceeded the statutory limitations, giving rise to an actual controversy; further, if this section was constitutional as applied, they could have been subject to administrative fines or criminal prosecution; moreover, they indicated a legitimate desire to make similar contributions in 2012, and thus a favorable ruling would have allowed them to make further contributions in 2012 without violating the law. 872 F. Supp. 2d 1023 (2012).

This section limits the amount of contributions a person can make to a noncandidate committee ("committee"); if the committee makes only independent expenditures, then pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United, Hawaii cannot limit those expenditures; plaintiff donors' contributions to a committee could only lead to independent expenditures; therefore, this section was unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs' contributions to a committee and defendant campaign spending commission was permanently enjoined from enforcing this section's contribution limitation in that situation. 872 F. Supp. 2d 1023 (2012).

 

 

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