Oct 10, 2012 12:55 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center

Montana campaign donation law back in effect

SAN FRANCISCO- The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted a judge's order that removes campaign contribution limits in Montana, meaning the state law remains in effect for now.

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock had filed an emergency motion to stay the district court's October 3, 2012 order pending appeal.

A federal court judge denied the state's motion to limit campaign contributions through the end of this election earlier this week.

Judge Charles Lovell denied Bullock's motion to stay after Lovell struck down Montana's campaign contribution limits last week.

But on Wednesday, the 9th Circuit judges said they wanted the judge to provide them with his full reasoning so the panel can take a look at the case.

Individuals and political action committees were prohibited from donating more than $630 to a candidate for governor, while political parties could donate no more than $22,000 under the current Montana law.

Bullock, who is running for governor, issued a statement following the ruling.

"This stay is important to all Montanans, many of whom contribute as much as they can afford, which is often $25 or $50. Those contributions - and those voters - still mean something here, and that's the way it should stay. Montana's citizen democracy is too important to be put up for auction to the highest bidder."

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