SCOTUS Upholds Electioneering-Disclosure Rules

WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Supreme Court issued no comment Monday in upholding federal disclosure provisions concerning subtle advertisements meant to steer an election.

Passed as part of the McCain-Feingold Act, also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, the disclosure provisions at issue were designed for a more subtle brand of electioneering.

Though these ads do not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate, they have the same effect as a campaign ad because of their content and proximity to an election.

The law imposes disclosure requirements on any group that spends more than $10,000 for a television or radio ad merely mentions the name of a federal candidate within 60 days of a general or 30 days of a primary election.

After a group called the Independence Institute challenged the law, a three-person panel of federal judges in Washington ruled for the Federal Election Commission this past November.

Represented by the Center for Competitive Politics, the Independence Institute took their case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Campaign Legal Center applauded Monday as the justices affirmed without comment.

“The public has a right to know who is spending large sums of money to influence their vote and to shape the laws and regulations that impact everyone,” the center’s deputy executive director Tara Malloy said in a statement.

Malloy’s group notes that the disclosure requirement was upheld in the 2003 challenge McConnell v. FEC and in 2010 with Citizens United v. FEC.

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