Montana Campaign Donation Limits Restored

     (CN) - The 9th Circuit has reinstated Montana's campaign contribution limits just weeks before the general election.
     Conservative Republican groups first challenged the state's campaign finance rules last year in a federal action.
     After holding a bench trial in September, U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell permanently enjoined the limits last week, finding that they violated the First Amendment.
     Those findings are stamped with today's date in the District of Montana.
     State officials quickly requested a stay in the 9th Circuit.
     In a brief ruling published late Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court granted the stay, saying that the absence of detailed findings and conclusions by the District Court precluded otherwise.
     Last month, a different appellate panel also reversed Lovell by striking down a 77-year-old provision of Montana election law that made it a crime for a political party to endorse judicial candidates.