Court refuses to consider challenge to election-law provision


Monday, October 2nd 2006, 10:25 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a lawsuit by a conservative group blocked from airing ads about same-sex marriage.

Last spring, the Christian Civic League of Maine attempted to run ads about the state's two U.S. senators, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., halted the effort and the Supreme Court refused to step in at the time. On Monday, the court issued a one-line order saying the appeal is dismissed as moot.

Federal election law bars corporations or labor unions from paying for any radio or TV broadcast referring to a candidate for federal office within 30 days of a federal primary election or 60 days of a general election.

The league had wanted to run the ads in time for the Senate debate on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The proposal was defeated June 7.

The proposed ad asked the public to call Maine's two senators, Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and urge them to vote for the amendment. Snowe is running unopposed.

The Christian Civic League asked the Supreme Court to consider whether the prohibition violates the group's free speech rights.

The FEC and key lawmakers in Congress said the group's appeal is moot because the preliminary injunction sought last spring would no longer have any effect. The league asked for the injunction against ``electioneering communication'' provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

The case is the Christian Civic League of Maine v. Federal Election Commission, 05-1447.