Independence Institute v Williams

Institute wanted to run an issue ad which triggered disclosure requirements under Colorado law. It sued Williams in his capacity as Colorado Secretary of State seeking an injunction against disclosing the identity of the donors. The district court grated summary judgment to Williams. The panel affirmed. It held that under the Citizens United decision, governments may require disclosure when an entity mentions a candidate in an issue ad close to an election as disclosure aids in the transparency necessary for the public to make informed decisions. Colorado’s law thus applied to the ad here. The panel held that the disclosure statute was sufficiently tailored to survive exacting scrutiny as it applies to substantially the same kinds of communications and has the same kinds of limitations as the federal requirements which the Supreme Court upheld in Citizens United.