While much of the country has been focused on the upcoming November 2020 election, the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion affecting those who are looking even further ahead when it comes to elections and campaign contributions. Specifically, on Jan. 27, 2020, the court affirmed a preliminary injunction against enforcement of an Arkansas statute that prohibits campaign contributions from being made during a two-year “blackout” period well before an election. Jones v. Jegley, 947 F.3d 1100 (8th Cir. 2020).

The statute in question—§7-6-203(e) of the Arkansas Code—makes it illegal “for any candidate for public office, any person acting in the candidate’s behalf, or any exploratory committee to solicit or accept campaign contributions more than two (2) years before an election at which the candidate seeks nomination or election.” The statute was part of a package of amendments to Arkansas’ campaign-finance laws approved by popular vote in 1996.[1]

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