Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Youth Unite!

Judge Kathleen Williams issued a temporary injunction this week, addressing a law that prohibited campaign contributions from minors.  From Curt Anderson:

A two-decade-old Florida law limiting the contributions minors may make to state and local political campaigns is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law, which capped contributions by Floridians 17 and under to $100 per election in state and local campaigns. Adults 18 and up can contribute $500. The law does not apply to federal campaigns, which have contribution limits of $2,500 per election for all donors regardless of age.
Williams sided with Boca Raton teenager Julie Towbin and the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued on her behalf. Towbin, then 17, decided not to attend a $150-a-ticket fundraising dinner for the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee after she was warned it might violate state law.
Towbin, a former congressional page, said in a statement issued by the ACLU that the decision "means my voice is no longer worth one-fifth of someone else's."
"This isn't just a victory for minors, it's a victory for the First Amendment," she said.
The law was enacted in 1991 because of perceptions that children might be used to make corrupt contributions, attorneys for Florida argued. They cited cases in other states in which adults used children's donations to evade contribution limits, although none of them occurred in Florida.
Williams, in a 36-page opinion, said there was no evidence that state authorities had ever prosecuted any minors for violating contribution limits and scant proof of any ongoing problem. She also brushed aside state arguments that eliminating the cap would benefit wealthier minors and that it was carefully designed not to violate free speech rights.

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

This is why we're still in a recession. A 17 year old spending $150 at a fundraiser instead of at the mall. What's happening with this country?

Anonymous said...

If she wasn't prosecuted for it, how did she have standing to bring case?
And if minors can't vote, why should they be allowed to contribute at all?