Skip to main content

Equality Maine
I've written a number of diaries over the last few years about the efforts of anti-gay forces to shield their efforts from public view, whether in terms of Justice Thomas's lamenting the scorn heaped on Prop 8 activists and the successful efforts to keep that trial from being broadcast live and the videotapes from public view, or the failed efforts in Washington State to shield anti-gay referendum signers' names from scrutiny.

The bad guys lost one today.

The Supreme Court of the United States today denied the National Organization for Marriage's petition for a writ of certiorari, which challenged the constitutionality of Maine's campaign finance disclosure laws with regards to disclosures pertaining to their (successful) efforts in 2009 backing an anti-marriage equality referendum in the Pine Tree State (which in turn overturned a legislative grant of marriage equality), raising such questions as:

1. Whether a state may impose PAC-style burdens on groups lacking the major purpose of nominating or electing candidates and whether such imposition must pass strict scrutiny.

2. Whether the terms “promoting,” “support,” and “opposition” are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in Maine’s campaign-finance laws.

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected NOM's claims last year, stating (among many other things):
[T]he informational interest [in disclosure] is not limited to informing the choice between candidates for political office. As Citizens United recognized, there is an equally compelling interest in identifying the speakers behind politically oriented messages. In an age characterized by the rapid multiplication of media outlets and the rise of internet reporting, the "marketplace of ideas" has become flooded with a profusion of information and political messages. Citizens rely ever more on a message's source as a proxy for reliability and a barometer of political spin. Disclosing the identity and constituency of a speaker engaged in political speech thus "enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages."  Citizens United, 130 S. Ct. at 916; see also Cal. Pro-Life Council, Inc. v. Getman, 328 F.3d 1088, 1105 (9th Cir. 2003) (recognizing that, in the "cacophony of political communications through which . . . voters must pick out meaningful and accurate messages[,] . . . being able to evaluate who is doing the talking is of great importance"). Additionally, in the case of corporate or organizational speakers, disclosure allows shareholders and members to "hold [them] accountable for their positions." Citizens United, 130 S. Ct. at 916. In short, "[t]he First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to [that] speech . . . in a proper way." Id.
The Supreme Court's denial of certiorari is not a ruling on the merits of the case, though it suggests that there is not an anti-disclosure majority on the Court.  (Indeed, in Citizens United, every Justice save Thomas supported the constitutionality of disclosure requirements with regards to the sponsors of independent expenditure ads.)

Pro equality forces have put the issue on the 2012 general election ballot again, where the question will now read:

Do you favor a law allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that protects religious freedom by ensuring no religion or clergy be required to perform such a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs?

Originally posted to Adam B on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, Bill in Portland Maine, oofer, PeterHug, tommurphy, sara seattle, Eman, shayera, devtob, Creosote, davelf2, Christian Dem in NC, bronte17, whenwego, mikidee, shanikka, mkfarkus, otto, Iberian, Cedwyn, dksbook, Redfire, danthrax, American Zapatista, virginislandsguy, Steven Payne, Sychotic1, harrije, mungley, homogenius, Josiah Bartlett, Gowrie Gal, Skennet Boch, davidincleveland, ExStr8, JohnB47, dewtx, Pam from Calif, HugoDog, Ice Blue, markdd, Southside, Rogneid, RainyDay, begone, lgmcp, martini, Sanuk, myboo, seefleur, sleipner, SarekOfVulcan, blueoasis, gpoutney, ER Doc, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Little, gloriana, EdSF, DvCM, Matt Z, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, sfbob, Uncle Moji, davehouck, jayden, Singing Lizard, hopi13, Rumarhazzit, BasharH, Empower Ink, gizmo59, BobBlueMass, wayoutinthestix, Laughing Vergil, CDH in Brooklyn, Akonitum, Calamity Jean, hwmnbn, dewley notid, glendaw271, BYw, psilocynic, legendmn, litoralis, h bridges, MKSinSA, sfarkash, Larsstephens, Railfan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, commonmass, FogCityJohn, Vacationland, Eddie L, ericlewis0, stevenaxelrod, cany, TichMarie, Onomastic, Maximilien Robespierre, kerflooey, Susipsych, FarWestGirl, BarackStarObama, merrily1000, Mentatmark, T100R, ChiTownDenny, DEMonrat ankle biter, ParkRanger, allergywoman, drawingporno, No one gets out alive, jacey, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, Eric Nelson, nellgwen, S F Hippie, Horace Boothroyd III, mapamp, YsosadisticGOP, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, Setsuna Mudo, SquirrelQueen, Smoh

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site