A federal appeals court panel has reinstated Montana’s limits on direct contributions to political campaigns, reversing a district judge’s ruling.  KTVQ.com reports that in his majority opinion, Judge Raymond Fisher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the limits were justified by the state’s interest in preventing the risk of actual or perceived corruption.  He said the lower limits did not restrict candidates’ ability to campaign effectively or make it difficult for challengers to defeat incumbents.

Montana’s restored contribution limits are among the lowest in the country.  The limits apply to individual elections rather than election cycles, so contributors can make the maximum donation twice if a candidate faces a contested primary.  The group that challenged the limits intends to appeal the decision, though they haven’t decided whether to take it directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.