The Alabama Democratic Conference sued state officials over a portion of the law that prohibited ADC's PAC from getting money from other PACs to use for voter communication programs and to get voters to the polls. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Ott ruled Wednesday that the prohibition violated the ADC's First Amendment rights.
The ADC previously got more than half of its money from PACs operated by the Alabama Education Association, the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, the state Democratic Party and others, but that stopped after the law's enacted a year ago.
ADC Chairman Joe Reed said he was pleased the judge recognized the group's rights of association and free speech.
The ADC did not challenge a portion of the law that prohibits the ADC from getting money from other PACs if it plans to give the money to candidates.
In court, the ADC said it would operate two accounts. One will get money for individuals, businesses and PACs for the group's traditional efforts to communicate with voters and get them to the polls. The group said it would have second account that would only accept money from individuals and businesses for distribution to candidates.
The Legislature passed the PAC-to-PAC ban in December 2010 to give a clearer picture of where candidates are getting their campaign funds. The measure also is intended to keep big donors from hiding their contributions by passing them through several PACs before they get to the candidates.