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South Dakota campaign finance curbs face a skeptical judge

A ruling is expected this month on the constitutionality of South Dakota's new prohibition on out-of-state contributions to referendum campaigns.

Federal Judge Charles Kornmann says he'll rule before the new campaign finance limit takes effect this summer, and maybe as soon as this week. At a hearing last week, the Brookings Radio network reports, he expressed broad concerns with the measure including that "this thing prohibits contributions in the form of volunteers from out of state."

The curbs on out-of-state donations were approved by 56 percent of South Dakotans in November. The judge is ruling on two lawsuits alleging the new rules violate the First Amendment.

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