(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.