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Federal judge refuses to toss John Doe lawsuit

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MADISON (AP) — A federal judge in Milwaukee says a lawsuit seeking to stop a secret investigation into possible illegal coordination between conservative groups and recent recall campaigns can continue.

The conservative organization Club for Growth filed a federal lawsuit in February arguing the probe amounts to harassment and violates conservatives’ free speech rights.

The prosecutors leading the investigation asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa to dismiss the suit, arguing federal courts should stay out of the case.

Randa refused the request Tuesday, concluding that key First Amendment rights are at stake in the case and Club for Growth has standing to bring a lawsuit. The judge also noted prosecutors wouldn’t be immune from an injunction halting the investigation.

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