Saturday, November 1, 2008

Federal Judge Blocks State Law Forcing Disclosure of Donors

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that U.S. federal District Court judge Stephan Mickle issued an injunction on Thursday blocking the enforcement of a state law forcing independent groups that spend funds with respect to ballot amendments and candidate elections to publicly reveal the names of their donors and details of their expenses.  According to an earlier article, the suit was brought by the Institute for Justice on behalf of the Broward Coalition of Condominium, Homeowners and Community Organizations, a University of Florida libertarian student group, and the National Taxpayers Union.  While the Coalition challenged the law when it learned that if it published a newsletter mentioning this year's Florida ballot amendments it would have to file the public reports, the law also apparently applies to all independent organizations that try to influence how the public votes, including 527s that are focused on candidate elections as opposed to ballot amendments.  A final decision on the law's validity will presumably not be forthcoming until after this year's election.

LHM

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