SCOTUS upholds FEC disclosure rules

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling on Monday identifying The Real Truth about Abortion, Inc. as a political nonprofit required to disclose its donors.

The Virginia-based, anti-abortion group sued the Federal Election Commission in 2008 on the grounds that it never expressly advocated for nor contributed to a political candidate—the commission’s criteria for determining campaign activity to be an organization’s major purpose and that organization a political action committee. As such, Real Truth said its issue advocacy was protected free speech, and the FEC had no business regulating it.

The courts haven’t agreed.

“The Supreme Court has once again come down in favor of transparency, recognizing the vital importance of the public’s right to know who is paying for the political advertising geared toward swaying elections,” said Tara Malloy, Legal Center senior counsel, in a statement.  “Even in the highly controversial Citizens United case, the Supreme Court by an 8-1 vote was clear that disclosure of political spending is critically important to our democratic process.  The Real Truth case was part of an extensive nationwide litigation campaign seeking to undermine state and federal disclosure laws, but those attempts have repeatedly been beaten back in the courts.”

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