Perfect timing: as we reflect on anonymity in political speech, Stephen R. Klein has posted Bailey v. Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics: Another Step Toward the End of Political Privacy (forthcoming Engage). Here's the abstract:
This article discusses the campaign finance disclosure regime upheld in Citizens United and gives a brief overview of how lower courts have recently expanded the Supreme Court’s reasoning, applying blanket approval to any "disclosure" regime. It then analyzes the ruling in Bailey v. Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics, and shows that it may go to such lengths as to impose campaign finance disclosure upon any political speech. Finally, this article offers a way back, with a call to restore the exacting scrutiny standard, limit the government’s “informational interest” and, at the very least, raise the financial thresholds for campaign finance law. Ultimately, any efforts at protecting political speech must begin with understanding that despite the weight of Citizens United, there are still myriad problems with federal and state campaign finance regimes.