Lawmakers Spar in Supreme Court Case on Nonprofit Donor Disclosure
The Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a pair of cases that members of Congress say could influence political discourse in the United States, warning that the justices either could stymie debates on controversial policies or bolster the influence of big money anonymous donors.... But the cases play out against the backdrop of a long and contentious debate about the influence of money in politics and shaping public discourse, so it has drawn the attention of lawmakers who have been the most outspoken on the issue.... But a group of Democratic senators told the justices in a brief that the challenges to the California law are “the latest move in a steady and methodical campaign pursued by powerful interests to both cement and obscure their influence over the public sphere” since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.... In a separate brief, Maryland Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes, who sponsored legislation that includes provisions to strengthen requirements to disclose campaign-related expenditures and donors, noted that some groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had brought up election-related disclosure in these cases about a California state law. Sarbanes urged the justices “to take care to cast no doubt” on their previous rulings that upheld disclosure requirements related to elections.