State has to pay legal fees

The State of Vermont must pay $1.4 million in legal fees after a 1997 campaign finance case was successfully argued by lawyers representing the states Republican Party and others.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared significant parts of the finance law unconstitutional in June 2006. The judges ruled 6-3 to strike down the law.

The Democratic Party had been the primary supporter and beneficiary of the campaign finance law; the law was seen by non-Democrats to benefit state Democratic political efforts at the expense of other parties.

Attorney Gen. William Sorrell told the Associated Press that the ruling was a bitter pill to swallow. Sorrell is a Democrat.

The law set limits on how much money can be raised and spent by political candidates running for state offices and legislative seats in Vermont, according to the A.P.

The lawsuit was spearheaded by the legal efforts of, primarily, the Vermont Republican Party and Vermont Right-to-Life.

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