Citizens United Sues NY Attorney General Over Secret Donor Lists

Image: Citizens United Sues NY Attorney General Over Secret Donor Lists New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Thursday, 22 May 2014 03:39 PM

By John A. Oswald

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Citizens United has filed suit against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, saying his new rules demanding release of secret donor lists violates free speech and due process guarantees.

"The First Amendment is under attack by the New York Attorney General and, as we did with the Federal Election Commission, Citizens United will fight for our rights set forth by the U.S. Constitution," said David Bossie, the president of the conservative group, Breitbart News reports.

Citizens United is the same group that sued the Federal Election Commission and in 2010 won a seminal ruling from the Supreme Court that opened the door for vast new spending in politics.

And just last month, the court revisited the decision and banned aggregate donation limits from individual donors.

Limiting the amount people can spend on groups that organize around issues or movements violates their First Amendment rights, the court held.

Schneiderman's team says the anonymity that nonprofits offer those with deep pockets needs curbing.

His spokesman Damien LaVera told Politico that, "after seeing the growth of 501(c)(4) political spending in New York, [the attorney general's] office adopted new regulations to require nonprofits that spend more than $10,000 on state and local elections to disclose who funds these efforts and how they spend the money."

He added: "Attorney General Schneiderman will continue to defend laws that promote transparency and integrity by charitable institutions."

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