Indiana Supreme Court set to answer question about corporations' campaign contribution limits
A federal appeals court wants the Indiana Supreme Court’s help with a question about Indiana law: Is there a limit on how much money corporations can donate to political action committees?
That’s the subject of Thursday’s state Supreme Court hearing.
Indiana Right To Life’s political action committee (PAC) and a broadcasting company, Sarkes Tarzian Inc., sued the state in federal court nearly two years ago. Tarzian wanted to donate $10,000 to the PAC but argued that Indiana law limits contributions from corporations to PACs for independent expenditures, which are spent without coordinating with candidates and political parties.
But the state says its limits don’t extend to PACs making independent expenditures. And it says it has never and will never enforce such a limit.
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A federal judge agreed with the state and dismissed the lawsuit. That was appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals — and judges there want the Indiana Supreme Court’s guidance on the state’s limits on campaign contributions.
The federal lawsuit won’t proceed until Indiana’s justices provide an answer.