First Amendment

2nd Circuit

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in New York City, home of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Felix Lipov /

A federal appeals court has rejected a First Amendment challenge to New York regulations requiring charities to disclose their donors.

The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a suit by Citizens United, the group that successfully challenged restrictions on corporate political spending in the U.S. Supreme Court, report Courthouse News Service, Bloomberg News and Reuters. How Appealing notes the news coverage and links to the decision.

In the new lawsuit, Citizens United had argued that New York’s regulations requiring disclosure violate the First Amendment because they create a climate of fear among donors, making fundraising more difficult. The regulations require disclosure to the state attorney general, but the donor lists are not publicized.

The group had also argued that the state attorney general was more vigorously enforcing the disclosure regulations, without advance notice, in violation of the due process clause

The appeals court said the disclosure requirement did not impermissibly chill speech or assembly and dismissed the claims. The appeals court also said a change in enforcement priorities does not trigger a notice requirement.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman applauded the ruling in statement. “Today’s ruling affirms that Citizens United can no longer shroud its biggest donors in secrecy,” he said.