Court Upholds Montana’s Dark Money Disclosure Laws - State and Federal Communications

May 24, 2018  •  

Court Upholds Montana’s Dark Money Disclosure Laws

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Montana’s campaign spending disclosure laws this week.

The three-judge panel ruled the law is not unconstitutionally vague and requiring groups spending money on electioneering communications to report their donors is proper.

The law, proposed by Gov. Steve Bullock and passed by the Legislature in 2015, still has wide bipartisan support.

Montanans for Community Development, the group challenging the disclosure laws, asserted the requirements were vague and overly broad, giving too much enforcement discretion to the commissioner of political practices. They also argued being required to file electronic campaign reports may be unconstitutional, a point the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals called absurd.

The current commissioner, Jeff Mangan, said he and his office are pleased with the ruling.

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