*Court upholds Vermont’s right to…

Court upholds Vermont’s right to limit campaign spending
Vermont, one of my favorite places, continues to quietly be perhaps the most progressive state in the country.

A federal appeals court panel upheld a Vermont campaign-spending law today in a ruling that lawyers said could reverberate far beyond the Green Mountain State and propel the issue of political spending back to the Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Manhattan, ruled 2 to 1 that Vermont lawmakers had a right to impose spending limits of $300,000 on candidates for governor and $100,000 on candidates for lieutenant governor.

The justification for the limits lay in “preventing the effective sale of time and access to public officials that results from the corrupting influence of excessive fund-raising and campaign spending,” Judge Chester J. Straub wrote.

Such limits, Judge Straub said, were “necessary to safeguard the democratic process and the public’s faith in its representatives.”