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Conservative Group Appealing Judge's Campaign Contributions Ruling

Michael Coghlan

A federal district judge says Illinois' campaign contributions law can stand as is.

But a lawsuit supported by the conservative-backed Liberty Justice Center says it will appeal to the U. S. Court of Appeals. Attorney Jacob Huebert says the law is unconstitutional because it gives special treatment to legislative leaders. 

While contributions for other campaign committees are limited, committees run by the four top legislators can give candidates as much as they want during a general election.

"It's very easy for the leader to be in a position to effectively buy off people, or threaten people, who would challenge his leadership. And so this ability to give all this money helps them stay in that position. They can use it to maintain their own power," Huebert said. 

In his ruling, the district court judge Gary Feinerman wrote that if leaders abused their positions for corrupt aims and personal agendas, voters or other legislators could unseat them.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.