Conservative Organizations Claim DISCLOSE Act Would Violate First Amendment Rights
June 22, 2010 by Special To Personal Liberty
Despite the call by some watchdog groups for Congress to expedite the passing of the DISCLOSE Act, the legislation has come under increasing fire from conservative organizations, including gun rights advocates.
The proposed bill would impose new disclosure requirements on organizations, including grassroots campaigns, that spend money on political advocacy campaigns, compelling them to list the top donors in their TV ads.
As a result, FRC Action, the legislative advocacy arm of the Family Research Council (FRC), has urged lawmakers to reject the act, saying it would impose unconstitutional limits on free speech for organizations during election cycles.
The negotiations can also potentially drive a wedge between gun rights organizations, as lawmakers have been trying to forge an exemption from the act for the National Rifle Association, but not other similar groups. This has prompted the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) to criticize it as "morally, if not legally, repugnant."
"This proposed exemption is unconscionable," said CCRKBA chairman Alan Gottlieb, adding that it "reveals the desperation of its sponsors to pass legislation that would still silence organizations [that are] critical of how the Democrat leadership has mismanaged things on Capitol Hill."