Transparency takes a blow in favor of free speech in a case that came out of the 8th Circuit on Wednesday. In a 6-5 ruling, the appeals court temporarily blocked a Minnesota law requiring companies to keep track of and disclose the money they spend on political campaigns, and sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings.
The law burdens companies’ First Amendment rights to free speech, the court ruled, violating the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. "After Citizens United, it is clear Minnesota may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker's corporate identity," the court wrote. The dissent felt the public’s right to know the source of political money trumped that argument.