Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We previously blogged about a federal court decision in Florida blocking enforcement of a state law that requires detailed public reports of expenses and donors for organizations that engage in any election-related activity. The opinion is now available. The most important holding is that the court reached a preliminary conclusion that any required disclosure tied to election-related speech could, constitutionally, only be linked to express advocacy (e.g., "vote for," "vote against," "support", "oppose," etc.) or its functional equivalent. The Florida law had a much broader sweep, requiring disclosure if an organization engaged in almost any election-related speech, whether express advocacy or not. At the federal level, this constitutional issue is still an open one, but the Supreme Court will almost certainly resolve it in the near future.