U.S. Supreme Court

Issue advertising disclosure requirements upheld by SCOTUS in summary affirmance

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In a summary affirmance, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld disclosure requirements that require groups that sponsor issue ads to disclose their donors to the Federal Election Commission.

The Supreme Court summarily affirmed (PDF) a decision on behalf of the FEC by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Associated Press has a story; the SCOTUSblog case page is here, and Bloomberg published its preview here.

At issue were FEC disclosure rules for “electioneering communications” that refer to candidates but focus on policy issues.

The challenge by the conservative nonprofit Independence Institute argued that lower courts had misapplied two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the subject. The group’s statement of jurisdiction (PDF) had argued the lower courts are improperly and “routinely upholding virtually any disclosure regime, even those regulating the mere mention of an officeholder in the months before an election.”

“At a minimum,” the Independence Institute had argued, without success, the Supreme Court should “declare that the government may only impose reporting and disclosure requirements on speech that is unambiguously campaign related.”

Hat tip How Appealing.

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