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U.S. Supreme Court rejects NOM appeal over Maine campaign finance disclosure law

Monday, February 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a constitutional challenge to Maine’s campaign finance laws brought by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

The Maine law requires those seeking to raise and spend money in state election campaigns to organize as a political action committee and to make public disclosures about their financial operations. The justices let stand an appellate court ruling that upheld the laws as constitutional.

The NOM had argued that the Maine statutes were “vague and too broad.”

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit had said in its ruling that, “These provisions neither erect a barrier to political speech not limit its quantity. Rather, they promote the dissemination of information about those who deliver and finance political speech, thereby encouraging efficient operation of the marketplace of ideas.”

Maine’s Campaign Finance laws require the registration of political action committees and disclosure of certain contributions to individual candidates and expenditures in elections. The statutes also require that all political advertisements and some other types of political messages must contain statements of attribution and on whether it was authorized by the candidate.

NOM, an organization set up solely to promote the traditional view of marriage as being reserved solely for “one-man and one woman” couples, was the principal donor in 2009 to Stand for Marriage Maine, a PAC that helped in a successful repeal of Maine’s law legalizing same-sex marriage in a statewide ballot referendum in November of 2009. By its own accounts, NOM spent $1.8 million in 2009 on the effort to repeal the law.

After state officials moved to enforce the campaign finance disclosure laws, NOM filed the lawsuit claiming those laws violated its constitutional free-speech and due process rights.

Maine defended its laws and noted during legal filings that the campaign financial disclosure laws were designed to inform the state’s voters about who is spending money to influence their votes. The state also said that the federal government and most other states have similar requirements.

The case, National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, No. 11-599, was separate from another U.S. appeals court ruling earlier this month that could force NOM to disclose its donors who gave more than $100 to support its campaigning against same-sex marriage in the state.

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Filed under: Maine

19 more reader comments:

  1. I am not allowed to “like” this page. Anyone else have this problem?

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:38pm
  2. Oops, sorry. Now I can! Great job U.S. Supreme Court!

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:39pm
  3. sorry to say this im just over it it’s not going to happen in my life time so i am just sick of hearing of it i know who i love and thats all i will need .

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:41pm
  4. Gotta love the Supreme Court when they make GOOD decisions!!!! :)

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:42pm
  5. You can get hand fasted. It’s a pegan ceremony where you do get married you just don’t get the benefits. You don’t have to be pegan either you can call upon whichever diety you choose. It’s a beautiful ceremmony tieing together your souls and you don’t have to sign a contract

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:46pm
  6. YEAH, especially when it doesnt happen that often

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:46pm
  7. Pegan?

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:48pm
  8. She means, “Pagan”.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:50pm
  9. and it makes my mom sad that the us court’s are being dam ass about it. saying yes for the lgbtq then say no one month last . that’s why i will be looking to move out of the us i am sick of it .

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:50pm
  10. Hahaha, @ Laura you reminded just there of my Mother when she found out my brother in law was not christian LOL sorry, but that’s funny stuff.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:50pm
  11. NOM another word for a HATE group?

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:52pm
  12. pagan… but I do believe some states will legally marry gay people who are not state residents. Perhaps Vermont (I know they did so with civil unions) and maybe Iowa. You can check the state laws for states that allow gay marriage… I believe there are 6 now? 7? California is still in legal limbo

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:53pm
  13. The Supreme Court ROCKS !!!

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:58pm
  14. Thank you U.S. Supreme Court!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:59pm
  15. HAHA NOM- of course NOM doesn’t like the law in Maine: “Maine’s Campaign Finance laws require the registration of political action committees and disclosure of certain contributions to individual candidates and expenditures in elections. The statutes also require that all political advertisements and some other types of political messages must contain statements of attribution and on whether it was authorized by the candidate.”

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 8:01pm
  16. Once in a while the SCOTUS gets it right.

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 8:13pm
  17. @Damon–live and love long and prosper!

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 8:20pm
  18. NOM = National Organization for Marriage, but they mean STRAIGHT Marriage :(

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 8:42pm
  19. Isn’t it the National Organization for Morons?

    Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 8:50pm