August 13, 2014
By Chuck Lindell

A federal appeals court has tossed out Texas’ waiting period for new political action committees.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the rules — requiring political committees to collect contributions from 10 donors and to wait 60 days before before being able to raise or spend more than $500 — were an improper limit on the freedom of speech.

“The 60-day limit places a severe burden on speech because it may even preclude expression necessary to provide an immediate response to late-breaking (political) events,” the three-judge panel ruled.

In addition, requiring a committee to identify 10 contributors before being allowed to exceed the $500 limit is an unconstitutional limit on expenditures and contributions, the court ruled.

The court upheld the state’s ban on corporate contributions to political committees and a requirement that committees name a treasurer.

The challenge was filed by three political committees and a nonprofit, including the Catholic Leadership Coalition of Texas.

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