Appeals court rejects finance challenge

In a case brought by a Florida couple, a federal appeals court Tuesday rejected a challenge to a campaign-finance law that places limits on contributions in primary and general elections.

Laura Holmes and Paul Jost, a married couple, each backed a congressional candidate in California and Iowa during the 2014 elections.

During that election cycle, contributors were limited to writing $2,600 checks to candidates in primary elections and $2,600 checks in general elections.

In a lawsuit filed against the Federal Election Commission, Holmes and Jost did not challenge the overall $5,200 contribution limit --- but said they should have been able to write $5,200 checks to their candidates for the general election instead of splitting the amount between contributions for the primary and general elections.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 26-page opinion Tuesday, rejected the arguments.

“If $5,200 in contributions across both elections raises no undue prospect of corruption, plaintiffs ask, then what could be the reason to disallow the same overall contribution across the elections merely because it is paid in the general election alone?” Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote. “Congress had a perfectly understandable reason: Congress, needing to select some timeframe in order to establish an effective base contribution limit, chose a per-election structure and reasonably defined the primary and general elections as separate events for purposes of the $2,600 ceiling.”