November 7, 2016 •
Montana’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Law Upheld
A federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of Montana’s campaign finance disclosure law.
The 2015 Disclose Act, aimed at combating an increase in dark money spending, faced a constitutional challenge asserting the law interfered with the free speech of groups wanting to influence elections without revealing the source of their money or how it is spent. The law requires political committees in Montana to report spending and donors within 60 days of an election if the committee’s advertisements mention a political candidate.
In his opinion, Judge Dana Christensen, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, cited to the ruling in Citizens United. He referenced the notion that while disclosure requirements may burden the ability to speak, they do not prevent anyone from speaking.
There are still two legal challenges to the Disclose Act pending, one at the state level and one in federal court.
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