On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a rule by a federal judge last month that struck down the Federal Election Commission regulation that said independent political groups only had to name donors when their gifts were linked to specific sets of TV ads or mailers.
The Supreme Court’s decision means that groups making independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates running for Congress this fall may have a legal obligation to disclose their donors, even if they could have remained anonymous in past cycles.
Birkenstock, a partner at law firm Sandler Reiff, said one way groups may try to shield their donors now is by backing away from so-called “express advocacy” ads and retreating to ads that don’t explicitly urge voters to support or defeat a candidate.
Joe Birkenstock continues by explaining,
“There’s a lot we don’t know. A functional FEC would have written a regulation,” perhaps on an emergency basis to cover the upcoming election, Birkenstock said. “As of this afternoon, I feel as if the onus is on the four commissioners to come up with something.”
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