Federal Judge Stops Pro-Life Group’s Ad Criticizing Barack Obama on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
September 12, 2008
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has stopped a pro-life group from airing an advertisement that criticizes Barack Obama for supporting taxpayer-funded abortions. The group known as The Real Truth About Obama Inc sought an injunction against the Federal Election Commission to air the ad.
The FEC, under campaign finance laws approved by Congress, has certain restrictions on organizations and when they can run certain political ads.
The group hoped to overturn those limits on section 527 organizations and its attorney, pro-life lawyer James Bopp, argues that groups like it should not have to disclose their activities, including independent expenditures and electioneering communications, with the FEC.
The organization sought a preliminary federal injunction against the FEC but U.S. District Judge James Spencer denied it.
Bopp said in the court papers the group filed that its "issue advocacy" is constitutionally protected free speech that does not promote the election or defeat of a candidate and should be exempt from the FEC’s stringent rules.
Spencer disagreed and said the injunction would harm the public, according to AP, and indicated a written decision would be released later with more details.
Bopp indicated he would ask the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited hearing on an appeal of Judge Spencer’s decision.
"The purpose of the First Amendment is to protect our ability to speak about issues and candidates and do so in a timely way," he said.
In an email to LifeNews.com previously, Bopp indicated the group wants to run the ads on national talk radio programs with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in key battleground states.
The ads make it clear Obama is pro-abortion and wants to force taxpayers to fund them with public funds. They also talk about his opposition to the ban on partial-birth abortions and how he will appoint Supreme Court judges who will keep abortions legal for another 35 years.
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