Disclosures about Disclosure

July 1, 2010   •  By IFS staff   •    •  

In this article, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer takes an interesting look at the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. He notes that while the Court lifted a longstanding ban on corporations and unions, who wish to engage in election related spending, the Court left questions pertaining to disclosure and disclaimer provisions related to independent expenditures unanswered. Mayer attempts to discover whether or not existing disclosure and disclaimer rules result in better informed voters and addresses the extent to which existing current requirements result in potential retaliation from political opponents. As the virtues of disclosure and disclaimers are too often unquestioned, he suggests that further research should be done in order to determine whether or not current policies are accomplishing their stated objectives. Given the recent reaffirmation of fundamental speech rights in Citizens United, Mayer advocates that disclosure and disclaimer rules should be designed to encourage greater political participation and assist voters in making better ballot-box initiatives.

IFS staff

IFS staff