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August 30, 2016

Citizens United Must Disclose Big Donors to N.Y., Court Says

A federal judge ruled Monday that conservative advocacy group Citizens United must identify $5,000-plus donors to New York’s attorney general if it wants to raise money in the state, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Sidney Stein of U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the disclosure policy put in place by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reflects states’ interest in ensuring nonprofits do not serve as fronts for fraud and crime. He said Citizens United, which filed suit against the rule in 2014, provided “no factual background or support” for its assertions that the regulation violates the First Amendment and exposes donors to personal or financial harm over their political beliefs.

Nonprofits that fail to report big donors could lose their New York State registration and face penalties of up to $100 per day in which they are in violation. Citizens United said it was weighing appeal options.