A few weeks ago the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission issued an advisory opinion indicating that it would enforce the state’s contribution limits against groups that (i) have a major purpose of influencing New Jersey elections and (ii) do so exclusively by making independent expenditures. Although the Commission recognized that its position might be unconstitutional in light of Citizens United and SpeechNow.org, it declined to create an exception to state law “based upon anticipated judicial or legislative actions.”
Last Friday, the Fund for Jobs and Growth—the Super PAC that sought the advisory opinion from the Commission—filed suit in federal court in New Jersey to enjoin the Commission from enforcing the state’s contribution limits against Super PACs. In its advisory opinion, the Commission actually expressed support for legislation that would eliminate the contribution limits for Super PACs, so it will be interesting to see what position the Commission takes in the litigation. Also note that the impending June 4th gubernatorial primary election may push the district court to move with some alacrity. At any rate, we’ll be sure to report any developments here.