Court Rejects Appeal by Group Suing Over State Election Laws

Group wanted to distribute campaign ads without being labeled a political committee

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — A federal appeals court has rejected a request by a tax-exempt organization that is challenging Montana’s election laws.

Montanans for Community Development had asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule a district judge’s order that the group must reveal certain information about itself in its lawsuit against the state.

The group is suing to suspend state laws that would allow it to distribute campaign ads without being labeled a political committee.

The group is listed as a 501(c)(4) organization that allows it to keep its donors and spending out of the public eye. But U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen previously ruled the group must answer certain questions about itself as part of the lawsuit.

The group appealed the order to the 9th Circuit, which declined on Tuesday to take up the matter.

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