Court Rules Against Montana’s Definition of Political Committees - State and Federal Communications

July 8, 2022  •  

Court Rules Against Montana’s Definition of Political Committees

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled against Montana, holding the state’s laws regarding political committees are unconstitutionally vague.

The court took umbrage with the state’s rule which governs whether political spending needs to be reported.

In Montana, any group of two or more people who spend $250 or more in an election cycle to support or oppose political candidates must register and report as a political committee.

Volunteer activities do not count towards the $250 threshold, but the court held Montana’s administrative scheme did not give plaintiffs fair notice that their activities fell outside the definition of volunteer services.

The decision opens the pathway to challenge the state’s definition of a political committee.

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