University of Denver

West Virginia Declares Rescue Funds Unconstitutional (Updated)

Former Manager, Quality Judges Initiative

In a unanimous ruling, the supreme court of appeals declared unconstitutional the matching or “rescue” funds provision of the state’s pilot public financing program. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the matching funds provision of Arizona’s public financing program for legislative and executive campaigns. Attorneys for Allen Loughry—the only one of four high court candidates to participate in the program—had argued that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision did not extend to public financing of judicial campaigns and that judicial elections are different because of the state’s strong interest in ensuring that courts are fair and free of bias. Members of the state elections commission voted unanimously not to appeal the decision.