Eric T. Schneiderman ()
New York’s attorney general is urging a federal judge to reject a motion for a preliminary injunction that would prevent enforcement of a requirement that the conservative advocacy group Citizens United file a list of its confidential donors with the state.
The effort by Citizens United and the Citizens United Foundation is unsupported by the law and has “no likelihood” of succeeding, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said in a memorandum of law filed Thursday before Southern District Judge Sidney Stein (See Profile) in Citizens United v. Schneiderman, 14-cv-3703.
Schneiderman’s office said it is seeking to force Citizens United with the same requirement demanded of all donor-supported groups in New York: that it file with the attorney general’s Charities Bureau a list of its donors contained on the Internal Revenue Service’s Schedule B form. It said Citizens United has been noncompliant with the New York disclosure law for more than a decade.
“Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that they will suffer irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction because they cannot establish any prima facie constitutional violation,” Assistant Attorneys General Katherine B. Dirks and Linda Fang wrote on Schneiderman’s behalf.
Citizens United argued in its filing before Stein that the disclosure rule is a violation of its First Amendment rights; and its donors would face “public backlash and financial harm” should their contributions become public (NYLJ, June 18).
Jones Day partners Donald McGahn and Todd Geremia and Citizens United’s General Counsel Michael Boos are representing the group.
Stein has scheduled a pre-trial conference in the case for Aug. 7.