A federal appeals court has rejected a request by a tax-exempt organization to overrule a judge’s order that it must reveal certain information about itself in the group’s lawsuit challenging Montana’s election laws. Montanans for Community Development had asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen’s ruling that it must answer questions or disclose documents about the group’s formation, operations, advertising and communications with candidates and other groups. The 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday that the group had not shown the case warrants the appeals court’s intervention.
Montanans for Community Development filed an application Wednesday with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking an emergency stay of Christensen’s ruling, attorney Anita Milanovich said. “This is our last stop, if you will,” Milanovich said.
If the Supreme Court doesn’t take up the case, the group will continue to pursue the lawsuit and will produce the required information, she said.
Montanans for Community Development is suing the state to suspend campaign finance laws, which would allow the group to distribute campaign ads without being labeled a political committee, a classification that would require disclosure of its donors and spending.