NOM loses bids to shield campaign activity from voters in Maine, Rhode Island

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) lost in its bid for a preliminary injunctions to prevent disclosure of its donors in two New England states on Thursday when an appeals court rejected their requests. NOM argued that Rhode Island’s campaign finance laws that require disclosure of donors in independent expenditure campaigns are unconstitutional and that similar laws in Maine were overbroad.

NOM filed the injunction in Rhode Island in October 2010, and a district judge rejected it. NOM then appealed to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Judges Juan R. Torruella, Michael Bounding and Kermit V. Lipez dismissed their appeal on Thursday.

“Because NOM’s vagueness arguments are without merit, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying preliminary relief without explicitly reaching the question of vagueness,” the court wrote. “For the reasons set forth above, we affirm the district court’s order denying NOM’s motion for a preliminary injunction.”

The court rejected a similar case in Maine brought by NOM.

The court said Maine’s laws “neither erect a barrier to political speech nor limit its quantity. Rather, they promote the dissemination of information about those who deliver and finance political speech, thereby encouraging efficient operation of the marketplace of ideas.”

NOM has challenged campaign finance laws in several states and has promised its donors secrecy.