ATLANTA – Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has won a federal appeal allowing his office to move forward with a civil case against a voting rights group founded by two-time Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams.

The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals this week overturned a lower court decision that was blocking the state from pursuing a civil enforcement action against the nonprofit New Georgia Project through the Office of State Administrative Hearings.

The case goes back to 2019, when the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission began investigating a complaint that accused the group of failing to report millions of dollars in election spending in 2018 and 2019.

The commission issued an order in 2022 finding reasonable grounds that New Georgia Project had failed to register with the commission.

“This decision is a victory for transparency in campaign finance,” Carr said of Monday’s appellate court ruling. “Rather than simply comply with Georgia law, New Georgia Project chose years of costly litigation and lost. These rules apply to everyone, and we will ensure they are upheld.”

New Georgia Project had challenged two of the state’s campaign-finance laws as unconstitutional violations of the First Amendment.

Monday’s decision did not address the merits of the group’s arguments. Instead, the appellate court ruled that the lower federal court lacked jurisdiction to issue an injunction blocking the attorney general from pursuing the civil case.