Judge strikes down FEC regulation on anonymous gifts to 'dark money' groups

A district judge has struck down a Federal Election Commission (FEC) rule that allowed for anonymous donations to “dark money” groups.

Politico reported that U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled on Friday that the FEC regulation allowing for those donors to remain anonymous fell below the standard that Congress meant to set when it passed laws on disclosing the sources of political donations.

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Politico noted that the ruling, which is likely to be appealed, means that nonprofits could be required to reveal the identities of donors who give $200 or more toward affecting federal elections.


“The challenged regulation facilitates such financial ‘routing,’ blatantly undercuts the congressional goal of fully disclosing the sources of money flowing into federal political campaigns, and thereby suppresses the benefits intended to accrue from disclosure,” Howell wrote in her opinion.

Spending by the groups, including 501(c) 4 nonprofits, has spiked in the years since the landmark Citizens United ruling on campaign contributions.

The FEC has 45 days to issue temporary regulations that would require the so-called dark money groups to reveal more about their donors, the publication reported.

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