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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
February 21, 2012

2012 CO 12.No. 10SC276. Colorado Ethics Watch v. Senate Majority Fund, LLC.
Campaign Finance—Express Advocacy.

The Supreme Court held that “express advocacy” is limited to speech that contains either the “magic words” as set forth in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 44 n.52 (1976), or to substantially similar synonyms as explained in League of Women Voters v. Davidson, 23 P.3d 1266, 1277 (Colo.App. 2001). The Court further held that none of the political advertisements at issue constituted express advocacy, and therefore neither the Senate Majority Fund nor the Colorado Leadership Fund was subject to regulation as political committees. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision upholding the administrative law judge’s dismissal for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions