HELENA, Mont. — The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated Montana’s campaign donation limits, telling the federal judge who struck down the limits that the panel needs to see his full reasoning so it can review the case.
The court intervened late Tuesday less than a week after the judge’s decision opened the door to unlimited money in state elections — during the height of election season. In response, US District Judge Charles Lovell issued a 38-page conclusion Wednesday that reinforced his earlier decision finding that the state’s limits are too low to allow effective campaigning. He suggested the state Legislature would have a ‘‘clean canvas’’ to perhaps establish higher limits that could meet constitutional muster.