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High court refuses to block Arizona election reform law

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court for now will let stand a state election law which gives "matching funds" to help underfunded candidates in Arizona.

The justices, in a brief order Monday, refused to block enforcement of the state's Clean Elections law, providing taxpayer-funded support for office seekers who have been outspent by privately-funded opponents or by independent political groups.

A federal appeals court in April approved parts of the sweeping campaign reform law. A group of mostly conservative groups -- including several current and former Republican state legislators -- filed the emergency appeal with the high court, saying their free speech rights were being hurt, and that their private fundraising efforts would be stifled because of public election financing. They wanted the high to intervene now, while state campaigning is underway in an election year.

The Supreme Court's order did allow a more thorough, detailed appeal to be filed in coming weeks. There was no indication whether the plaintiffs would seek to file such an petition.

The case is McComish v. Bennett (09A1133).