Court hears group’s ap­peal on ‘is­sue ad­vo­cacy’ ads

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

A con­ser­va­tive group crit­i­cal of Pres­i­dent Obama over abor­tion pol­icy has asked an ap­peals court in Virginia to de­clare cer­tain fed­eral cam­paign re­stric­tions un­con­sti­tu­tional.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in Rich­mond heard ar­gu­ments Wed­nes­day. A rul­ing is ex­pected in a few weeks.

The group called the Real Truth About Obama Inc. is chal­leng­ing Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions that ex­pressly ad­vo­cate the elec­tion or de­feat of a can­di­date. The or­ga­ni­za­tion claims its “is­sue ad­vo­cacy” amounts to con­sti­tu­tion­ally pro­tected free speech.

The Fred­er­icks­burg, Va.-based or­ga­ni­za­tion was formed by abor­tion op­po­nents be­fore Mr. Obama’s 2008 elec­tion. It wants to run ads on its web­site and on con­ser­va­tive talk shows. Mr. Obama sup­ports abor­tion rights a state law that re­quires can­di­dates to be res­i­dents of the county in which they reg­is­ter to vote. How­ever, Mr. Gale said the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion re­quires only that Se­nate can­di­dates be a res­i­dent of the state they serve by the time they’re elected.

The White House re­ferred ques­tions to Mr. Obama’s re-elec­tion cam­paign. Mrs. Obama’s cam­paign spokes­woman Olivia Alair called the joke “in­ap­pro­pri­ate” but de­clined fur­ther com­ment. lawyer from Mid­dle­ton, re­mains in the race but would need at least 15 per­cent sup­port at the Demo­cratic State Con­ven­tion in June to qual­ify for the Septem­ber pri­mary bal­lot.

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