Letter of the Day (Sept. 23): Disclosure law

  • Updated: September 22, 2012 - 5:22 PM

There's another side to the disclosure law argument.


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It's interesting that the Star Tribune Editorial Board believes that the state should defend disclosure laws that are being struck down by the courts ("Disclosure law takes worrisome hit," Sept. 15).

Newspapers are usually staunch defenders of freedom of expression. The First Amendment protects all types of expression. When lawful protesters express themselves on the street, no one expects them to be required to identify themselves.

If those same protesters decide to take out a political ad, why should they be required to identify themselves? The First Amendment doesn't say you can express yourself only if you identify yourself.

The dissenting opinion of the federal appellate court states that "Minnesota's interests in disclosure laws are important and substantial." That may be true, but those interests should not trump the Bill of Rights.

The "state's interest" argument has been used many times to deprive people of their rights. Most people are suspicious of political ads anyway. I'm even more suspicious if the sponsors of the ad are unidentified.

Let's not weaken the First Amendment for this cause.


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