Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!


More On

8th Circuit blocks Minnesota law requiring disclosure of corporate political spending

The law violates companies’ First Amendment rights, the court ruled

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.

Coastal Travel Enterprises, along with the non-profits Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Inc. and the Taxpayers League of Minnesota challenged the law, which requires companies and organizations to create a political fund if they spend more than $100 per year on political activity. Failure to do so could result in fines or imprisonment.

While both the district court and a smaller panel of the 8th Circuit initially rejected the plaintiffs’ request to temporarily block the law from being enforced, this larger 8th Circuit panel reversed that decision. However, it did refuse to block part of the law that forbids companies to donate directly to political candidates.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


For more InsideCounsel stories about corporate political spending, see below:

The last political loophole is found in non-profits

Regulatory: Limiting corporate political activity

Regulatory: How to play by the pay-to-play rules

Under shareholder pressure, companies disclose political spending

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.