A federal appeals court said Delaware may enforce a state election law requiring advocacy groups that run political advertising to reveal their donors. Thursday’s 3-0 decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia reversed a lower court ruling that had favored Delaware Strong Families, a conservative-leaning group that publishes “voter guides” ahead of elections. The group objected to a 2013 state law requiring third-party advertisers to reveal their donors’ identities if they spend more than $500 in an election cycle on ads that refer to specific candidates, even if they do not recommend how to vote.
Delaware Strong Families said the law was too broad and overburdened its free speech rights, and in April 2014 won a preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Wilmington, Delaware barring the law’s enforcement.
Writing for the appeals court, however, Circuit Judge Joseph Greenaway said Delaware narrowly tailored the law to advance its important interest in ensuring an informed electorate.