Pro-Marriage Groups Sue to Prevent Release of Contributor Info

Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom
1 South 6th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47807-3510

Thursday, October 22, 2008

Contact: James Bopp, Jr.
Phone 812/243-0825; Fax 812/235-3685

Pro-Marriage Groups Sue to Prevent Release of Contributor Info

Pro-Marriage groups the National Organization for Marriage and American Principles in Action filed a constitutional challenge in federal court yesterday to a Maine law requiring any person who receives contributions or spends more than $5,000 related to a Maine ballot measure to register as a ballot measure committee. The law applies not only to organizations, but to individuals as well.

The two groups are seeking a temporary restraining order, which would allow them to run television ads and solicit money for the “People’s Veto” referendum campaign to overturn recently enacted same-sex marriage legislation in Maine without having to register as a ballot question committee with the state.

A similar Maine law involving political action committees was declared unconstitutional ten years ago. That case, Volle v. Webster, held that Maine could not require individuals and organizations to register as a political action committee unless the major purpose of the group was ballot measure advocacy.

According to attorney James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel for the plaintiffs, “Maine has attempted to avoid the effect of the court’s prior decision by calling registered organizations ‘ballot question committees’ rather than ‘political action committee.’  The statute here is subject to the same defects as the statute in Volle, and should meet the same fate.”

The case is National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, et al., 09-538-BH. The complaint and memorandum supporting the motion for temporary restraining order are available in PDF format online at the James Madison Center’s website,, under the “NOM v. McKee” link on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.
James Bopp, Jr. has a national federal and state election law practice. He is General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech and former Co-Chairman of the Election Law Subcommittee of the Federalist Society.