September 12, 2012 •
Appeals Court Upholds Illinois Campaign Finance Law
Disclosure cases likely to go Supreme Court
A federal appeals court in Chicago upheld an Illinois state law regarding disclosure related to campaign advertisements. The Center for Individual Freedom, a Virginia based advocacy group, sued the state, claiming that its First Amendment rights were violated by a law that requires all entities, regardless of whether their main purpose is influencing elections, to register and report as a political committee once it spends $3,000 for independent expenditures in a 12-month period.
In dismissing the case, the court ruled this law did not violate the free speech rights of organizations. The case was originally dismissed in district court last year on the same grounds.
This continues an ongoing cycle where groups are suing states, and obtaining mixed results, for the state’s disclosure laws based on the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision in 2010. Most experts believe these cases will eventually end up in Supreme Court, where the nation’s highest court will determine whether states can force groups to disclose donors who wish to remain anonymous.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.