June 20, 2018
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Judge finds Maine's political ad rules vague

By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — A federal judge has largely upheld the constitutionality of Maine’s campaign finance laws in the first of two cases filed by the organization that bankrolled much of last year’s effort to repeal the state’s gay marriage law.

In a split ruling, Judge D. Brock Hornby disagreed with the National Organization for Marriage’s contention that Maine’s registration and reporting requirements for political action committees, or PACS, were burdensome and could “chill” free speech.

But the judge did find fault with two parts of Maine’s PAC laws, essentially ordering the state to re-write an “unconstitutionally vague” section and to stop requiring 24-hour disclosure of expenditures over $250.

The court has yet to rule on the more highly anticipated case, however, over whether the National Organization for Marriage must identify groups or individuals whose money was used to help defeat gay marriage in Maine in 2009.

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