SCOTUS Rejects Maine Campaign Contribution Appeal - Civil Rights Law - U.S. First Circuit
U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

SCOTUS Rejects Maine Campaign Contribution Appeal

The Supreme Court has yet to announce whether it will consider Gill v. OPM — or any of the seven gay marriage petitions pending before the Court, but today it announced that it will not review the First Circuit’s National Organization for Marriage v. McKee ruling.

In January, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Maine law that requires groups that spend more than $5,000 on referendum advocacy to disclose the identity of donors that gave more than $100. The appellate court found that the law provided fair warning of its reach, it was not overbroad, and its $100 threshold was narrowly tailored to meet Maine’s compelling interest in an informed electorate.

The First Circuit was unsympathetic to the organization's concerns that revealing the identity of those who gave more than $100 would violate their First Amendment free speech rights. The court's decision may have effectively required anti-gay marriage donors to reveal themselves, and it reportedly clears the way for the state to conduct an investigation into whether the organization was raising money to influence the ballot initiative, according to Reuters.

While the Supreme Court will not hear arguments related to donor donations to anti-gay marriage initiatives, it could still hear arguments on the bigger marriage equality issue during the 2012 term. In May, the First Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal appellate court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that DOMA unfairly denied same-sex couples of federal benefits. That case is just one of the many DOMA challenges awaiting Supreme Court review.

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