U.S. Court of Appeals to hear Minn. campaign disclosure lawby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A federal appeals court will hear a challenge to Minnesota's law requiring corporations to disclose their political donations.
A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in May. But in September, the entire court will hear the matter again.
An author of the legislation, Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) says it could be an indication the court wants to make a more forceful ruling. Winkler says the Minnesota legislation was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporate and union contributions for political ads.
"The majority opinion was written by Justice Kennedy. And Justice Kennedy specifically said that we're going to allow more open contributions by corporations but legislatures are free to adopt disclosure requirements," Winkler said.
The attorney representing three organizations who brought the suit in the Minnesota case also brought the Citizens United case to the Supreme Court. Neither James Bopp, Jr. nor his clients could not be reached for comment for this story.
The three organizations are Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, The Taxpayers League of Minnesota and Coastal Travel Enterprises, LLC.
Arguments before the full 8th Circuit will be September 21 in St. Louis.