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Lawsuit Against NJ Campaign Finance Law Dismissed by the Court

Lawsuit Against NJ Campaign Finance Law Dismissed by the Court

The former director of the elections agency in charge of enforcing the regulations filed a lawsuit against a recent overhaul of campaign finance. This lawsuit was dismissed by a Superior Court judge on Friday.

Before his October retirement, former ELEC executive director Jeff Brindle filed two lawsuits against Governor Phil Murphy in the previous year. The dismissed lawsuit is the second one filed by the Brindle.

Brindle is not permitted to bring the same lawsuit again in court because the judge dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.
The lawsuit claimed that the Legislature had interfered with the Elections Transparency Commission’s independent enforcement authority and that the Act was “special legislation,” intended to single out one agency for preferential treatment.

An amendment was passed this February and that amendment added another section to the Elections Transparency Act. This amendment did away with the ELEC commissioners’ powers to appoint the executive director. The power now rests in the hands of the governor.

A new version of the bill allowed the governor to step down from the current ELEC board, which had three commissioners serving in a holdover capacity and one vacancy and allowed the governor to select the bipartisan appointments for a temporary period without the Senate’s involvement after the Senate and Assembly postponed voting on the bill days after the amendments were added.

The presiding judge on this lawsuit is Judge Robert Lougy. He said,” The legislation advanced several valid purposes that pertain directly and appropriately to its subject matter.”

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