Maine Committee Votes to Repeal Law Prohibiting Marketing to Children

This month, a Maine legislative committee voted to repeal a controversial online marketing law that was enacted just last year. Among other things, the law, entitled An Act To Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices Against Minors,” prohibits companies from knowingly collecting personal information or health-related information from minors under 18 without parental consent.

Shortly after the law was enacted, a group of plaintiffs filed suit arguing that the law was unconstitutional. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills acknowledged that the law was not presently enforceable” and the case was later dismissed. In the court order, the judge wrote the Attorney General had acknowledged her concerns over the substantial overbreadth of the statute and the implications of [the law] on the exercise of First Amendment rights, and accordingly has committed not to enforce it.”

The Maine legislature must still vote on the repeal in order to make it effective. But given the constitutional problems with the law and the inevitable challenges that would be filed against the law should it be enforced, we expect the law to be repealed within the coming weeks.