On Monday, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania from enforcing its ban on corporate contributions and expenditures insofar as the challenged statute forbids corporations from contributing to political committees that exclusively make independent expenditures.
In General Majority PAC v. Aichele, No. 1:14-cv-00332 (M.D. Pa. 2014), a DC-based Super PAC brought a First Amendment challenge to provisions of Pennsylvania’s campaign finance statute that prohibit corporations from making any contributions to political committees. General Majority PAC’s suit argues that just as a corporation has a First Amendment right to make independent expenditures under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC , a corporation also has the right to make contributions to political committees that exclusively make independent expenditures.
General Majority PAC moved for a preliminary injunction simultaneously with its complaint, asserting it was likely to prevail on the merits based on the logic of Citizens United and a similarly successful suit it brought against New Jersey’s contribution limits last year. After a telephone conference in which Pennsylvania stated that it did not oppose a preliminary injunction, the federal district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted the motion in a summary order that adopted the reasons set forth in General Majority PAC’s brief.