Saturday, March 14, 2015

Amicus Brief Targets Scalia and Thomas In Linking Same-Sex Marriage and Campaign Finance Equality

Dozens of amicus briefs have been filed in Obergefell v. Hodges and its companion cases-- the same-sex marriage cases that are set for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28. (Links to all briefs from SCOTUS blog). One of the most interesting (full text) is the brief of the Liberty Education Forum (a non-profit organization with ties to the Log Cabin Republicans), filed March 6, which focuses on the special treatment that contributions by married couples receive under state campaign finance laws. For example, each spouse can make campaign contributions up to the individual limit, even though only one of them brings income into the household.  The brief argues:
Respondents’ same-sex marriage prohibitions, when viewed together with their campaign finance laws, result in similarly situated couples having unequal rights to engage in the political process through political contributions. A state’s differential treatment with regard to core First Amendment rights violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
In a press release, Liberty Education Forum says that the brief is
targeted specifically at Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.... No two Justices on the Supreme Court have been more vocal about their opposition to curtailments of the First Amendment that exist because of restrictions on campaign contributions than Justices Scalia and Thomas.
BNA Daily Report for Executives (subscription required) reports on the brief.