CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Attorney General voluntarily dismissed appeal in the case Ball v. Madigan today, declining to pursue the case at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The appeal followed a summary judgment ruling from U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee in March, which held that a state law prohibiting political contributions from medical cannabis dispensaries and grow operations was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. Pillar of Law Institute attorneys represented the plaintiffs in the case, Claire Ball and Scott Schluter, Libertarian candidates who were prohibited from raising such contributions.

“Illinois allows corporations to contribute over $10,000 to a candidate for state office, but restricted the new medical cannabis industry from giving a penny,” said Benjamin Barr, President of Pillar and lead counsel in the case. “It was not only illogical and unfair, but unconstitutional.”

The case was the first brought by the Pillar of Law Institute in late 2015, joined by the Liberty Justice Center in Chicago. Judge Lee’s ruling permanently enjoined enforcement of the law.

“Illinois candidates may now raise funds from licensed medical cannabis and grow operations, like most other companies throughout the state,” said Stephen Klein, Pillar attorney and co-counsel in the case. “Some dispensaries and grow operations have already expressed interest in participating. Today’s dismissal ensures that new industries cannot be arbitrarily shut out of the political process.”

The Pillar of Law Institute is a nonprofit public interest law firm. Located in Washington, DC, Pillar represents citizens nationwide against unconstitutional censorship of political speech.


Benjamin Barr
President, Pillar of Law Institute