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Federal appeals court finds Maryland law regulating online political ads violates First Amendment

December 9, 2019

Via: Jurist

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Friday affirmed a lower court decision to strike down a Maryland law regulating the publication of online political ads. Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, III described the law as a “compendium of traditional First Amendment infirmities.”

The statute at issue is the Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act. Pursuant to the Act, an “online platform” that hosts a political ad must publish on its site i) the identity of and contact information for the ad purchaser; ii) the identity of the person or persons exercising control over the activities of the ad purchaser; and iii) the total amount paid for the ad.

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