A federal judge dealt a blow Thursday to the advertising plans of a conservative group that purports to tell "the real truth" about Barack Obama's abortion views.
U.S. District Judge James Spencer denied a preliminary injunction sought by The Real Truth About Obama Inc. against the Federal Election Commission. The injunction would have barred the FEC from enforcing its fundraising and advertising regulations against the Richmond-based group, which was formed by anti-abortion activists.
The organization claimed in court papers that its "issue advocacy" amounts to constitutionally protected free speech that does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate.
In a brief order, Spencer said the constitutional claim lacked merit and that an injunction would harm the public. He did not elaborate but said a written explanation of his ruling will be issued later.
James Bopp Jr. of Terre Haute, Ind., attorney for The Real Truth About Obama, said he likely will ask the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited appeal of Spencer's ruling.
"The purpose of the First Amendment is to protect our ability to speak about issues and candidates and do so in a timely way," said Bopp.