The American Israel Public Affairs Committee claimed victory in a 9-year-old legal standoff with critics of U.S. policy toward Israel. The Supreme Court ruling made it highly unlikely that the pro-Israel lobby would have to disclose information about its membership and expenditures… An attorney for AIPAC said the high court “did exactly what we asked.” Stephen Breyer wrote the opinion… Below are four articles about the case… AIPAC claims a victory in Supreme Court ruling
By Lauren Stein, reposted from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 2, 1998 [subheads and images added]
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee claimed victory this week in a 9-year-old legal standoff with several staunch critics of U.S. policy toward Israel.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling issued Monday, made it highly unlikely that the pro-Israel lobby will have to disclose information about its membership and expenditures — a goal that has been sought by six former politicians and diplomats.
Alleging that AIPAC made campaign contributions and expenditures on behalf of political candidates, the plaintiffs have been urging the Federal Election Commission to regulate AIPAC as a political committee — a designation that would force the organization to file public reports about all of its receipts and expenditures. But in a case being closely watched by groups that lobby in Washington, the high court chose not to rule on the status of AIPAC and instead sent the case back to the FEC. Thus the battle is not necessarily over, and the plaintiffs have vowed to press ahead with the case.
AIPAC, for its part, defines itself as a membership organization and registered lobby on behalf of legislation affecting U.S.-Israel relations — with complete freedom to communicate with its members on politics and elections.
The plaintiffs in the case included James Akins, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and former U.S. Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.), who has referred to the federal government as “Israeli-occupied territory” and blamed AIPAC for defeating his 1982 re-election bid. Akins, Findley and four other former government officials who have worked to undermine U.S.