Nutter v. Dougherty
In April 2006, mayoral candidate Michael Nutter filed suit to enforce Philadelphia’s newly-enacted contribution limits in connection to several individuals who allegedly were exploring mayoral candidacies but not abiding by those limits. These individuals counter-claimed, arguing that the City’s campaign finance law was beyond Philadelphia’s home rule authority and preempted by state law, which places no limits on political contributions. The state trial court ruled in favor of the defendants, but the appellate court reversed, holding that the City ordinance was not preempted by state law. In December 2007, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania upheld the City campaign finance law as a permissible exercise of the City’s home rule authority.