Thursday, May 29, 2014

John and Brian's excellent adventure continues in Maine

English: United States Supreme Court building ...
The docket for National Organization for Marriage and American Principles in Action (a Robby George group) v. Maine is long and complex (provided, in full, below). It includes 57 pages of 281 items from 10/21/2009 through 3/8/2013. It involves numerous discovery disputes, appeals and judgments. This included two attempts to have the United States Supreme Court intervene. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case twice. The matter was “concluded” on February 11, 2011:

In accordance with the Decision and Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, issued on February 18, 2011, by District Judge D. Brock Hornby; JUDGMENT as to Counts One through Four of the Second Amended Complaint is hereby entered for the Defendants, Walter F. McKee, Andre G. Duchette, Michael P. Friedman, Francis C. Marsano, Edward M. Youngblood, Mark Lawrence, Stephanie Anderson, Norman Croteau, Evert Fowle, R. Christopher Almy, Geoffrey Rushlau, Michael E. Povich, Neal T. Adams and Janet T. Mills, and against Plaintiffs, National Organization for Marriage and American Principles in Action.
In other words, NOM lost on all four counts. Appeals on transcript and exhibit redactions would continue for another two years. As most of you know, discovery in this matter resulted in some embarrassing disclosures. In March of 2012 we learned that NOM had an official strategy of pitting gays against blacks to drive a wedge between them. NOM continued into 2013 to plead for transcripts to be redacted.

When the courts concluded their part, this matter continued to be contested through Maine's ethics commission. At long last the commission voted unanimously yesterday (May 28, 2014), five years after the campaign, that NOM would have to;
  1. Pay a fine of $50,250 and;
  2. Retroactively register as a ballot committee for the 2009 Question 1 campaign and;
  3. Disclose its donors to the campaign.
Well NOM is displeased. According to a statement from Brian Brown yesterday:
We intend to appeal this decision in court because it is wrong as a matter of law and because the evidence supports our position.
I suggest that readers go through the docket. Has NOM already gotten a fair shake. I can only hope that the US Court of Appeals will put a quick end to this nonsense and decline to stay the matter pending appeal. NOM has already dumped many thousands of donor dollars into this adventure. Now, presumably, they will provide even more fees to their chairman, John Eastman to appeal the matter to the USCA and then, probably, back to the Supreme Court which is likely to decline to hear the case (for a third time).

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