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A Federal Appeals Court Upheld an Arizona Law Friday

A federal appeals court upheld an Arizona law Friday that provides state funds to political candidates who forgo most private contributions - a ruling that lifts a cloud from a measure on the June 8 California ballot that would overhaul campaign financing for secretary of state.

A federal judge had struck down the 12-year-old Arizona law in January, saying one of its provisions violated the free speech of privately funded candidates whose rivals qualify for public money. Under the Arizona law, if a candidate or a supporting committee raises more than a certain amount in private donations, the opponent is entitled to additional state money.

The law's challengers, six Republican candidates and two conservative political committees, argued that it deters private contributions - and thus chills free speech - by subsidizing candidates whose opponents raise large sums.


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