Appeal to End ‘LLC loophole’ Is Rejected

Chris Bragg reported yesterday in the Times Union “In a four-to-one decision on Thursday, an appellate court in Albany upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit to close the controversial “LLC loophole” that allows huge political giving in New York elections.

In the majority opinion, Presiding Justice Elizabeth Garry of the Third Judicial Department wrote that the petitioners in the case – New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice and six current or former political candidates – lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. In addition, she wrote that closing the “LLC loophole,” which allows each limited liability company owned by a person to give up to $150,000 annually in New York elections, was a matter for the Legislature, not the courts.”

Two decisions hold that the petitioners lacked standing and the challenge  was a nonjusticiable political question.  A 1996 opinion that treats LLCs as individuals rather than as corporation still stands.

Judge Lynch dissented in Brennan v. SBOE II, believing there was standing and  a justiciable question.

Copies of the decisions can be found here:Brennan v sboe IBrennan v. sboe II

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