Battle v Citizens United: 1 down, 49 to go

Judge Rejects Bid by Citizens United to Keep Donors Secret

Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal  

The conservative nonprofit group Citizens United cannot keep its donor list secret in New York state, a federal judge ruled Monday.

And here’s the much fuller New York Times piece dated yesterday:

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit in which Citizens United sought to block New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from enforcing rules requiring the conservative group to disclose more information about its donors.

Source: Judge Dismisses Citizens United Challenge to New York Donor Rules – The New York Times

A few choice paragraphs (just because you deserve a chuckle today over Citizens United being afraid, very afraid):

The nonprofit group, which advocates for limited government, free enterprise and strong families, had argued that its donors would “reasonably fear public backlash, financial harm, and worse” should their support be disclosed.

But the judge found no evidence that this would occur, and that the policy advanced New York’s “unquestionably important” interest that charitable groups not engage in crime or fraud.

The Times piece notes Citizens United is contemplating an appeal. Right. To the Second Circuit. Won’t work. So then where? The Supreme Court?–which, if I remember correctly, noted in its horrendous decision for Citizens United (was it Scalia?) that it didn’t bar full disclosure of where the money was coming from.

Wanna bet Citizens United won’t take this to the Supreme Court, lest a new, not conservative court, spells it out? “No, boys, you can’t keep secret all that obscene amount of money with which you’re trying to buy politicians. Oh, sorry.”

In case you’d like a clear, easy-to-read yet erudite legal discussion about disclosure after the Citizens United decision, here’s the link to one from the Brennan Center for Justice, as part of its Money in Politics project¬†

P.S. I like the “1 down, 49 to go” line but here’s some full disclosure on my part: I don’t actually know whether other states have won similar cases against Citizens United. I’d like to think my state and our excellent Attorney General are the forerunners but California has lately been carving new legislative territory. Maybe someone can let me know?

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