Kathleen Curry Will Sue Against Discriminatory Campaign Contribution Limits

Colorado’s only independent legislator, Representative Kathleen Curry, says she will file a lawsuit on August 2, to overturn Colorado’s discriminatory campaign contribution limits.  Candidates for the State House may receive contributions of $400 if they are running as members of a party.  But if they are independent candidates, no one may contribute more than $200.

The state will probably defend its law by saying that members of parties face a primary campaign as well as a general election campaign.  But the more generous limit for party members applies whether a candidate in a primary has a primary opponent or not.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in Davis v Federal Election Commission struck down a federal law that gave higher contribution limits to some kinds of congressional and presidential candidates than  to other kinds of congressional and presidential candidates.  Specifically, candidates for federal office had the benefit of higher contribution limits, if they had an opponent who was spending more than $650,000 of his or her own money.

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