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NJ Court Upholds State’s Campaign-Finance Law

(CN) - The New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the state's campaign-finance laws, dismissing a contractor's claim that it was improperly denied a work contract based on a prior political contribution.

Earle Asphalt Co. was the low bidder on a contract to pave Interstate 195, but the U.S. Department of Treasury disqualified the company due to a contribution to the Monmouth Country Republican Committee of more than $1,500. The limit is $300.

Earle challenged the constitutionality of the Campaign Contributions and Expenditure Reporting Act, claiming that it violates free-speech rights.

The court unanimously ruled that the spending limit was necessary to avoid "the risk of improper influence, purchase of access, or the appearance thereof."

Although Earle requested a refund within 30 days of the contribution, the company did not receive the refund until 41 days had elapsed, the justices concluded.

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