The U.S. Supreme Court will let stand a lower court ruling upholding Delaware’s election law that requires advocacy groups to disclose the donors behind their political advertisements. The justices refused to hear a challenge to the law Tuesday. Delaware’s Elections Disclosure Act was cheered as the first major overhaul of the state’s campaign finance laws in more than 20 years when it passed in 2012 and was enacted in 2013. The law requires third-party groups and individuals to disclose their donors to the state elections commissioner if they publish advertisements or other communications, including internet postings, that refer to a candidate in the 60 days before an election. Previously, only groups that directly advocated for or against a candidate were required to disclose their donors.
The law became the subject of a lawsuit from Delaware Strong Families. The conservative group, which publishes a voter guide, contended that the law is overreaching, compared to federal law, which is limited to broadcast communications, and said it forces them to comply with burdensome regulations that chills the group’s right to free speech.
In 2014, a federal judge in Wilmington barred the state from enforcing the new law. However, the Third Circuit appeals court overturned the decision, leading the Center for Competitive Politics, a Washington D.C.-area nonprofit representing Delaware Strong Families, to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Full Article: Supreme Court rejects challenge to Delaware election law.