“Dark ‘Oro y Plata’ in Montana: The Green Amendment’s Defense of Campaign Finance Transparency”

Lucas Della Ventura has written this article, 48 Wm. & Mary Env’t L. & Pol’y Rev. 385 (2024). Here is the abstract:

In the post–Citizens United dark money age, state disclosure regulations are the last line of defense for citizens to learn who is behind unlimited independent expenditures and electioneering communications flooding their states. Underpinning the ability of state governments to promulgate such transparency measures are the informational benefits provided to the public. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta to invalidate a California disclosure regulation on dark money groups, marks disclosure regulations—the Court’s repeated fallback when striking down more robust campaign finance regulations—with a bull’s-eye. In the face of repeated legal challenges to disclosure regulations, advocates for transparency should conceptualize the scope of the informational interest more broadly to encompass not only the interests of voters, but also the interests of states in upholding state constitutional rights dependent on disclosure information. States like Montana, which have affirmative duties under their constitutions to protect the right to a clean and healthful environment, also known as “green amendments,” have a compelling interest in upholding disclosure provisions because such protection hinges on the information provided by campaign finance disclosures.

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