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Supreme Court declines to lift stay in Clean Elections case

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request to lift a stay blocking implementation of a judge’s order that overturns a key part of Arizona’s public campaign financing system.

The court issued the order on Feb. 16 but said a new appeal can be filed after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in the case.

U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver ruled last month that so-called matching funds violate constitutional free speech rights by chilling private contributions. But implementation of her ruling was stayed to allow for an appeal.

Arizona provides publicly funded candidates with extra money beyond their basic funding allotments when they are outspent by privately funded rivals or targeted by independent expenditures. That part of the system would end under Silver’s ruling.

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