3Center or American Progress | Disclosure Laws Needed to Ensure Transparency in Judicial Elections
ederal DISCLOSE Ac
an eor o “upend irrerievably core Firs Amendmen proec-ions o poliical speech in he monhs leading up o an elecion.”
Te Supreme Courhas repeaedly rejeced argumens ha such concerns render disclosure rules unconsi-uional.
Te Cour has said ha i a spender can demonsrae ha disclosure wouldlead o inimidaion, hen applying he rules in ha case may be unconsiuional.
Tusar, opponens o disclosure have ailed o produce any such evidence.Disclosure is a commonsense reorm, and polls sugges he vas majoriy o ciizens—Republican and Democra alike—suppor disclosure.
Tese rules are crucial or judi-cial elecions because hey deermine wheher voers can nd ou who is running adsor judicial candidaes. Jusice Sevens noed in his Ciizens Unied dissen ha a liigancan argue ha a judge should recuse hersel or receiving campaign conribuions roman opposing liigan,
bu when inormaion on campaign spending is no made public,his righ o a rial beore an unbiased judge canno be availed.Many saes have no ye adaped o he new campaign nance landscape. Norh Dakoaand Indiana, or example, have no rules requiring disclosure o independen spending.Michigan has rules governing independen spending, bu hey all well shor o ull dis-closure. Maryland, on he oher hand, reaced o Ciizens Unied by enacing rules harequire more disclosure rom corporaions engaged in poliics.
Independent spending in Michigan Supreme Court elections, 2000-2010
$20 million in unreported spending
0 $5,000,000 $10,000,000 $15,000,000 $20,000,000
Michigan Campaign Finance Network, $70 Million Hidden in Plain View, Appendix A, June 2011,http://www.mcn.org/pds/reports/MICFN_HiddenInPlainViewP-rev.pd