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Mixed District Court ruling for NOM; or as they'll surely call it: partly activist, partly okay

by Jeremy Hooper

Not sure what to make of this mixed-bag decision, really:

PORTLAND — A U.S. District Court judge has delivered a split ruling that backs disclosing the names of out-of-state donors who helped repeal a gay marriage law in Maine.

Saying a state law requiring that the names of donors be disclosed within a certain time frame is “unconstitutionally vague,” U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby nevertheless said the request by the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices that the National Organization for Marriage disclose names of donors who gave money to defeat a gay marriage law in Maine is not a burden on NOM’s freedom of speech.

But Hornby took shots at some of Maine’s campaign finance disclosure rules. The judge said rules requiring 24-hour disclosure of independent expenditures over $250 — not just before an election, but whenever they occur — “has not been justified ... is impermissably burdensome and cannot be enforced.”
Judge: Names of gay-marriage foes must be disclosed [Portland Press Herald]

So it seems good, but with some caveats. Still chewing on it; see below and form your own thoughts.

**The full opinion:

Dbh 08192010 1-09cv538 Natl Org for Marriage v Mckee

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