State campaign donations law to remain through election

Federal appeals judges have temporarily reinstated a state law that limits campaign contributions in the final weeks of ballot measure campaigns, saying that the law shouldn’t be overturned so close to the election.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled last month that the limit is an unconstitutional infringement on political speech. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked that ruling from taking effect while the state appeals. The 9th Circuit’s stay was issued late Tuesday.

In the stay, announced Wednesday by the state Public Disclosure Commission, the three-judge panel wrote “Washington and its voters have a significant interest in preventing the State’s long-standing campaign finance laws from being upended by the courts so soon before the upcoming election.”

The law in question bans contributions larger than $5,000 in the final three weeks of an initiative or referendum campaign.

Attorney General Rob McKenna said Wednesday that he was happy that the court “recognized the importance for greater accountability in this election.”