Vermont Right to Life Committee (VRLC) v. Sorrell

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Closed
Updated

At a Glance

In 2009, Vermont Right to Life Committee (VRLC) challenged Vermont’s campaign finance law's disclosure provisions and contribution limits as applied to VRLC's fund that allegedly makes only independent expenditures. The district court upheld the challenged disclosure provisions and contribution limit and the court of appeals affirmed...

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The Latest

Last week in Vermont Right to Life Committee v. Sorrell, a federal appeals court, in a welcome move, finally asked the crucial question of whether a self-styled “independent” group was in fact independent.  The Supreme Court’s naïve or disingenuous decision in Citizens United struck down the federal corporate spending restrictions while at the same...

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About this Case

In 2009, Vermont Right to Life Committee (VRLC) challenged Vermont’s campaign finance law's disclosure provisions and contribution limits as applied to VRLC's fund that allegedly makes only independent expenditures. VRLC claimed that the law violated the First Amendment by regulating VRLC as a political committee, requiring disclaimers on electioneering communications, and requiring the reporting of “mass-media activities.” VRLC also challenged the state contribution limits as applied to its political committee making only independent expenditures, as well as the $100 reporting threshold for contributions to a committee. The district court upheld the challenged disclosure provisions and contribution limit and the court of appeals affirmed.   VRLC petition for certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court on January 12, 2015. 

The CLC filed an amicus brief with the Second Circuit defending Vermont’s laws.

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