Golden Age for the First Amendment?

Ballot Access News covers a recent opinion on Utah’s campaign finance rules.

The decision says that these disclosure requirements can only be applied to groups whose major purpose is to influence elections. The plaintiff organization is quite old, and has always existed to assist individual union members when a union member has a dispute with his or her union. Utah had tried to force it to obey the disclosure laws because it ran a series of TV and radio ads aimed at members of the Utah Teacher’s Association who weren’t in sympathy with the association’s position on a referendum on school vouchers. The ads said, “If you are a teacher or school employee, you have the right not to participate in the union’s petition drive.” The ads also gave the National Right to Work organization’s toll-free telephone number and its web address. Utah elections officials interpreted this ad as a campaign ad in favor of vouchers and against the referendum petition.

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