August 26, 2006

"Group Files Motion to Run Pro-Life Ad in Wisconsin"

CNSNews offers this report. See also this press release which has been e-mailed to me:

    WRTL Files Request with Federal Court of Allow Radio Ads Barred By McCain-Feingold Law

    "Today, Wisconsin Right to Life is filing a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the District Court for the District of Columbia to allow WRTL to air a radio ad within the next few weeks asking Wisconsin citizens to contact Senators Kohl and Feingold and to urge them to vote to move the Child Custody Protection Act to conference committee," stated Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

    "Wisconsin is currently in the blackout period mandated by the McCain/Feingold campaign finance law. Because Senator Kohl appears on the primary election ballot, permission is needed from the federal court to air grassroots lobbying ads mentioning his name, even though the radio ad has nothing to do with elections. Wisconsin Right to Life officials risk jail terms if the radio ad is aired without permission by the federal court," said James Bopp, Jr. counsel to WRTL.

    The pleadings filed August 25 request a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, so that WRTL may begin running the radio ad the week of September 5th. On Saturday, August 26th, at a specially-called status conference, the three-judge court set a hearing for Wednesday September 6th at 2:00 pm in the federal District Court for the District of Columbia on WRTL's motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Copies of the motions will be available on Monday August 28th at

    The Child Custody Protection Act is legislation which would prevent the transport of minors across state lines for abortions to avoid parental consent or notification laws in the minor's home state. This legislation passed overwhelmingly in both houses of Congress, most recently by the U.S. Senate on July 25 by a 65-34 vote. Senator Kohl voted in favor of the measure and Senator Feingold voted against it. In a rare procedural move, the Senate Democratic leadership has blocked a motion to release the bill to a conference committee.

    "This legislation is especially critical for Wisconsin parents and minors because minors are transported to Illinois, which has no parental involvement law, to keep their abortions secret from their parents," continued Lyons. "The Child Custody Protection Act, which has overwhelmingly support from the public, needs to reach the President's desk where it will be signed into law. With only a few weeks remaining in this session of Congress, this unique opportunity to protect Wisconsin parents and minors cannot be lost because of the roadblock set up by the Senate Democratic leadership. Prior to this year, many attempts to pass this legislation have been stalled in the Senate. Parents and minors should not have to wait for yet another legislative session to have their rights protected.

    "Our ad is favorable to Senator Kohl, mentioning that he voted in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act. It is ridiculous for anyone to claim that the ad is a 'ruse' to defeat Senator Kohl. It is a genuine grassroots lobbying ad that deserves to be aired. It is free speech in its purest form," stated Lyons.

    Wisconsin Right to Life is at the center of ongoing litigation to create an exception for grassroots lobbying to the McCain/Feingold campaign finance law. In January of 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous vote granted Wisconsin Right to Life the authority to mount such a challenge in the courts. Oral arguments on cross motions for summary judgment in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Elections Commission will be held on September 18.

Posted by Rick Hasen at August 26, 2006 09:02 PM