A federal judge on Monday rejected an effort by the conservative group Citizens United to air a documentary critical of Colorado Democrats without disclosing its donors as required by state law.
Citizens United argued it fell under protections for media outlets and its “Rocky Mountain Heist” film did not constitute electioneering communications. The organization, whose landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court softened contribution limits, sought protection in U.S. District Court in Denver to show the film without conditions after the Secretary of State’s Office said it must disclose the movie’s backers. Attorney Ted Olson, the former U.S. solicitor general, argued the case.
But Judge R. Brooke Jackson didn’t find him persuasive. “The case presented today is rather straightforward,” Jackson wrote in the order. “Citizens United argues that its free speech rights are violated when the law requires it to disclose its donors while effectively exempting traditional print media and broadcasters from the same requirement. It contends that Colorado’s reporting and disclosure exemptions are a form of content- or viewpoint-based discrimination compelling the invalidation of the entire disclosure scheme. I am not convinced and therefore deny plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction.”
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