Colorado Common Cause and Colorado Ethics Watch v. Gessler, Secretary of State 2012COA147 (August 30, 2012)

“Committee: n. A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.” (Paul Ogden). The Colorado Constitution and related legislation, subjects an “issue committee” to registration and disclosure requirements once it receives $200. The Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, issued a rule that said that the “issue committee” regulations were not triggered until the group received $5000. At the center of this case is a 10th Circuit opinion holding that the “issue committee” registration requirements, as applied to a group of neighbors distributing fliers in opposition to the annexation of their neighborhood, unconstitutionally infringed on their First Amendment rights. That opinion did not, however, invalidate the law. So, the new rule, intended to address some uncertainty from the 10th Circuit opinion, contravened the law, and therefore the Secretary exceeded his authority to issue it.

Certiorari GRANTED

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Filed under Administrative, Constitutional, Government

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