7th Circuit backs Ill. campaign-disclosure law

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A federal appeals court upheld an Illinois campaign-disclosure law yesterday, rejecting a challenge brought by the Center for Individual Freedom, a Virginia-based advocacy group.

Reuters reported that the nonprofit organization had argued that because its main purpose was unrelated to elections, it should not have to disclose its donors. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel sided 2-1 with the state in Center for Individual Freedom v. Madigan, finding that Illinois could force disclosure even if an organization’s “major purpose” isn’t influencing elections.

Reuters noted that “the ruling added to a mixed bag of decisions by other appeals courts, which have both upheld and rejected state laws on campaign disclosure based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

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