ACLU files lawsuit against law limiting contributions to political action groups in support of ballot initiatives

Published: May 16, 2021 2:53 PM EDT

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has filed a federal lawsuit after governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law to limit contributions to political groups supporting ballot initiatives.

The law places a $3,000 cap on how much an organization or a person can contribute to a political group trying to collect signatures to place constitutional amendments proposed by the people on a ballot.

The ACLU of Florida says the law violates the First Amendment and prevents people from being able to propose initiatives when legislatures fail to act.

“It does undermine democracy because it means that what the people want, the issues the people care about, over 60% of them super-majority support now will never be heard,” said Nicholas Warren, staff attorney at the ACLU of Florida.

Bob Jarvis, professor of law at Nova University, said if the law is upheld it’s going to make it very difficult for groups to propose progressive amendments on ballots.

Lawmakers who support the bill say it will stop people who aren’t from Florida from trying to propose constitutional amendments.

“It eliminates those who over influence and influence the initiatives through their dollars,” said Rep. Bobby Payne, R-Palatka.

The law is set to take effect on July 1.