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Court rejects appeal to hide campaign donors

Tue., Feb. 22, 2011, 10:15 a.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court today said it won’t take up the appeal of Human Life of Washington, which has been ordered to disclose its donors to a 2008 campaign against the state’s assisted suicide ballot measure.

The court denied, without comment, the organization’s request to review and overturn rulings by the federal district and 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Human Life is required to list donors to its efforts against Initiative 1000, also known as the “Death With Dignity” initiative. It allows terminally ill people to receive a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs they can use to end their own lives.

Human Life had argued that it should not have to register as a political action committee, and thus disclose its donors, because it was sponsoring ads about the issue of assisted suicide, not against I-1000 itself. Because it wasn’t directly related to the campaign, it couldn’t be regulated, their attorney said.

Both lower courts rejected that argument. A 9th Circuit panel ruled last fall that voters deserve reliable information as more groups enter the political “marketplace.”

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