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HELENA — A federal appeals court has upheld Montana's campaign finance reform law by rejecting a group's claims that it is vague and overly broad.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an order Wednesday that the 2015 state law to increase campaign reporting and disclosure meets constitutional muster.

A group called Montanans for Community Development sued to strike down the law because it wanted to distribute mailers before the 2016 election that would have named candidates as impeding coal development.

The group was unwilling to register and disclose its donors and spending as required under the 2015 Disclose Act.

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The judicial panel called the group's constitutional claims against the law "scattershot." It also called the group's argument "absurd" that the law's requirement to file electronic campaign reports may be unconstitutional.

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