Good News for the First Amendment


A group of news organizations led by the Washington Post has sued the State of Maryland over a poorly crafted and patently unconstitutional set of laws that try to regulate online political advertising. Judge Paul Grimm of the U.S. District Court has granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the State from enforcing the laws while the case is pending. Granting such an injunction means that the court believes that the plaintiffs are likely to win the case on the merits and that they will suffer irreparable harm without injunctive relief.

The best line in the Memorandum Opinion is on page 35. Discussing the State’s case, Judge Grim notes,

These are not the arguments of a party that is confident in its case.

The Maryland laws are so over broad that a site as small as Hogewash! could be affected by their reporting requirements.

The Newspapers v. Maryland


I’ve previously posted about a group of newspapers filing suit against Maryland to stop the state’s unconstitutional attempt to regulate political advertising on the Internet. The newspapers are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the law from going into effect. The State has filed an opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction.

There will be a hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction. It was originally scheduled for early October, but the lawyers and Judge Grimm are trying to resolve scheduling conflicts. When the hearing is scheduled, I’ll make arrangements to attend and report on it.