Ohio Supreme Court adopts new judicial contribution limits
The Supreme Court of Ohio announced several changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct, one of which permits candidates to solicit and accept larger donations from individuals and organizations beginning January 1, 2017. Specifically, the amendments affected Jud. Cond. Rules 4.2 Comment , 4.3 Comment , and 4.4(I) and (J).
Ohio Supreme Court candidates may now accept a maximum of $3,800 in contributions from individuals in primary and general elections. Organizations may give up to $7,000 to Ohio Supreme Court candidates in primary and general elections. Political parties may contribute up to $189,500 to candidates in primary elections and $347,600 in general elections.
The contribution limits for court of appeals candidates were also increased. Individuals may now contribute up to $1,300 in the primary and general elections to court of appeals candidates. Organizations may contribute up to $3,800 in primary and general elections. Political parties may contribute a maximum of $37,900 in the primary election and $75,900 in the general election to court of appeals candidates.
The individual contribution limit for common pleas, municipal and county court with a population of more than 750,000 remained the same at $600. However, organizations may now contribute up to $3,800 in the primary and general elections to these candidates. Political parties’ contribution limits also increased to $37,900 in the primary election and $75,900 in the general election for such candidates.
Lastly, a candidate for a position on the court with a population of 750,000 or less may receive up to $3,800 in the primary and $3,800 in the general election from an organization. Political parties may contribute up to $31,600 in a primary election and $63,600 in a general election to these candidates.
According to the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct amendments, “[all of these] contribution limits shall apply to fundraising that occurs on behalf of judicial candidates who campaign for election to judicial offices that will appear on the ballot in 2017 and subsequent years. The contributions limits that were effective prior to January 1, 2017, apply to fundraising that has occurred or will occur on behalf of judicial candidates who campaigned for election to judicial offices that appears on the ballot in the calendar year of 2016.”
This article was reprinted from the Winter 2017 Compliance Connections newsletter.