(CN) – The anti-abortion group Real Truth About Obama Inc. lost its challenge to federal elections regulations that it claimed “chilled” its right to release information during the 2008 presidential about Barack Obama’s views on abortion.
The 4th Circuit sided with a district court, which dismissed the Virginia-based group’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
The organization wanted to publish audio advertisements during the 2008 campaign that it claimed stated Obama’s position on abortion.
Fearing it would be considered a political action committee and subject to Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations, it sought to prevent enforcement of several FEC laws governing when a group must register as a political action committee and when it is considered a 527 organization.
A 527 is organized to influence elections, but avoids FEC regulations by not directly advocating for a candidate’s election or ouster.
Real Truth sought to block enforcement of the regulations against its “intended activities.”
The 4th Circuit applied the four-pronged test in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, in which the Supreme Court outlined what a plaintiff has to show in order to get a preliminary injunction.
Real Truth failed the first prong: showing that it would likely win the case on the merits, the court concluded.
“When we compare the challenged provisions with those upheld by the Supreme Court,” Judge Niemeyer wrote, “we reach the same conclusion reached by the district court that Real Truth has not, at this preliminary stage in the litigation, made a clear showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits at trial, even though we do not decide the merits nor intend to foreclose any outcome on the merits” (emphasis in original).