ELECTION LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
In Alaska Public Offices Commission v. Patrick, 494 P.3d 53 (Alaska 2021), the Alaska Supreme Court held that statutory contribution limits are unconstitutional in the context of independent expenditure groups (Id. at 60). Individual plaintiffs filed complaints with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), alleging that to independent expenditure groups accepted contributions beyond the allowable amount under Alaska’s statutory contribution limits (Id. at 55). APOC rejected the complaints based on its findings in a 2012 advisory opinion and, on review, affirmed its decision to reject the complaints (Id.). The plaintiffs appealed APOC’s decision to the superior court, which reversed APOC’s rejection of the complaints (Id.). On appeal, the court asked both parties to address the constitutionality of the statutory contribution limits and APOC’s authority to refuse to enforce a law that it believes is unconstitutional (Id.). APOC argued the limits were unconstitutional and it had the authority to refuse to enforce the limits (Id. 55–56). The plaintiffs agreed that APOC has the authority to not enforce the statutory limits, but argued the limits were not unconstitutional (Id. at 56). The Alaska Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that federal precedent supports the argument that limits on contributions to independent expenditure groups are unconstitutional and the plaintiffs wrongly assumed that the United State Supreme Court would overturn its precedent (Id. at 57–60). Reversing the lower court’s decision, the Alaska Supreme Court held that statutory contribution limits are unconstitutional in the context of independent expenditure groups (Id. at 60).