Supreme Court won't hear challenge over PAC disclosures

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 7, 2013 4:07pm EST

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan walks back into the Supreme Court building with Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts after her investiture ceremony in Washington October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan walks back into the Supreme Court building with Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts after her investiture ceremony in Washington October 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a challenge to federal regulators' method for determining which political groups need to register as political action committees and reveal their donors.

Without comment, the court declined to hear the appeal of The Real Truth About Abortion, an anti-abortion group that had sued in 2008 to challenge numerous Federal Election Commission rules that govern disclosures of political spending.

The case is one of several challenging the disclosure and reporting requirements for political groups in the wake of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 2010 Supreme Court case that removed limits on what companies and unions can spend to support or oppose political candidates.

Previously known as The Real Truth About Obama, Real Truth About Abortion said that it planned to educate voters in 2008 about the policy positions of then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama, a supporter of abortion rights.

But the non-profit group refrained, under the risk of being deemed a political action committee (PAC) by regulators and subject to a federal investigation, according to the lawsuit.

It said the FEC's multi-part test to assess whether a group's "major purpose" is to engage in federal campaign activity, qualifying it as a PAC, was too vague and chilled more political speech than necessary.

A federal judge in 2011 rejected the challenge, and a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision in June. It called the commission's methods "a sensible approach to determining whether an organization qualifies for PAC status."

James Bopp, who represents the Real Truth About Abortion, is the same lawyer who brought the Citizens United case.

The case is The Real Truth About Abortion Inc. v. Federal Election Commission, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-311.

(Reporting by Terry Baynes in New York and Jonathan Stempel in Washington; Editing by Paul Simao)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
todnwth wrote:
Any organization or individual that contributes money to elect or defeat any candidate for any office or to support or fight against another organization should have to list its donors with the ad they are using to further their purposes!!!
No foreign corporation should be able to contribute any money to support of defeat any person running for office for any thing else pertaining to any organization in this country!!!!

Jan 07, 2013 11:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
todnwth wrote:
Any organization or individual that contributes money to elect or defeat any candidate for any office or to support or fight against another organization should have to list its donors with the ad they are using to further their purposes!!!
No foreign corporation should be able to contribute any money to support of defeat any person running for office for any thing else pertaining to any organization in this country!!!!

Jan 07, 2013 11:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
jeff81201 wrote:
Should have kept him out of your courtroom the first time, you shameful corporate suck-ups.

Jan 07, 2013 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus