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Appeals court reverses ruling on campaign donors

- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — An appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling that likely would have led to greater disclosure of who is paying for certain election ads.

In March, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the Federal Election Commission overstepped its bounds in allowing groups that fund certain election ads to keep their financiers anonymous.

But Tuesday's ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sent the case back to Judge Jackson — with instructions to refer the matter to the FEC for further consideration.

Judge Jackson had ruled that "Congress spoke plainly" in passing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law — and did not delegate authority to the FEC to narrow the disclosure requirement. But the appeals court said the law was "anything but clear."

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