Lawsuit challenges state’s political donor disclosure laws

November 22, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The constitutionality of Rhode Island’s political donor disclosure laws is being challenged in a federal lawsuit.

The suit was filed Thursday by the conservative advocacy group the Gaspee Project and the nonprofit Illinois Opportunity Project, represented by attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center in Chicago and the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

They’re suing members of the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

The board’s executive director declined to comment Friday.

The plaintiffs say it’s unconstitutional for state law to require organizations engaged in issue advocacy to disclose their members and supporters, and it violates their privacy.

The Illinois Opportunity Project is challenging donor disclosure laws in several states. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity says it launched an initiative to challenge unconstitutional Rhode Island laws.