By Robert J. Driscoll
We recently blogged (here
) about a new Maine law that would restrict the collection and use of personal information from minors for marketing purposes. Shortly thereafter, a coalition of educational and industry groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Maine, challenging the law on the basis that it violates the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. On September 9, 2009, the court entered a stipulated order of dismissal. While determining that the plaintiffs had established a likelihood of success on their claims, the judge noted that the Attorney General, acknowledging the substantial legal issues raised by the new law, had committed not to enforce it. The judge also pointedly stated in the order that “third parties are on notice that a private cause of action [under the new law] could suffer from the same constitutional infirmities,” in an apparent attempt to discourage private individuals from filing a private cause of action to enforce the law. The legislature is expected to revisit the new law and to consider amendments that would address these infirmities in the upcoming session.