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Alabama's judicial campaign finance law unenforced for 15 years

The Birmingham News reports: A 15-year-old state law meant to discourage big­-dollar donations to judicial cam­paigns has never been enforced, and each of the three branches of government in Montgomery blames another for the failure.

The attorney general says the state court system is supposed to come up with rules for enforce­ment; the state court system says the law first needs the blessing of the U.S. Justice Department, which the AG's office has not sought; and a legislative sponsor of the law says he'd be happy to rewrite it if someone would tell him what's wrong with it.

"Only the combined forces of the three branches of government could create such a confusing situ­ation," said Mark White, a Bir­mingham lawyer who led the 1996 review of the law and found sev­eral problems that make it hard to enforce.

A federal lawsuit filed last week asks that the law be formally blocked until the Justice Depart­ment can review it, contending that, as the situation stands now, the law could be haphazardly en­forced. Read the whole story --> Alabama judicial campaigns law unenforced for 15 years | al.com

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