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Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

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First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

Can the government silence speech about an election simply because the speaker is a corporation? Can it deny voters the opportunity to hear a corporation’s views on issues? Forty years ago, the Supreme Court answered no in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

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SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

If one person can speak about a candidate without limit, can Congress ban two, three, or hundreds of people from joining together to do the same? That was the simple question presented in the case SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission. Fortunately, a unanimous 2010 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision said no, such a limit would violate the First Amendment. Americans can now form independent expenditure groups to raise and spend money on campaign speech without limits. Learn more about this important case.

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SCOTUS Brief in Brief: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

SCOTUS Brief in Brief: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

On February 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. In 2010, Minnesota prohibited a voter from wearing a T-shirt that depicted the Gadsden flag while voting, restricting his First Amendment right to express his political beliefs. Can Minnesota enforce a voter dress code? Or will the Supreme Court right this wrong? Here’s everything you need to know about the case.

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Understanding Super PACs

Understanding Super PACs

You’ve probably heard the term tossed around over the past couple of years, but what exactly is a “super PAC”? These organizations have been given a bad name by their competitors – powerful politicians and media corporations – who previously held a monopoly on political speech. However, the reality is much different than what opponents of free speech would have you believe. Check out the Institute’s newest infographic to understand what super PACs are really about.

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Latest Updates

Sunlight Foundation: Spate of anti-protest bills target social justice infrastructure (In the News)

IFS Welcomes Senior Policy Analyst Eric Peterson to External Relations Department

The Hill: Action against Russian meddling cannot threaten our civil liberties (In the News)

Morning Consult: Eliminate Schedule B to Protect Public Debate (In the News)

Twitter Loses Round One in Lawsuit Challenging User Ban

Connecticut Post: Duo of state lawmakers fight election fines (In the News)

Washington Examiner: Facebook dishonestly pushes the Honest Ads Act (In the News)

CT News Junkie: Two Republicans Sue Election Regulators (In the News)

Giving Meaning to Narrow Tailoring and Burdens of Proof: IJ Scores a Win for Free Speech in Colorado

Connecticut Legislators Challenge Censorship of Campaign Ads

Election Law Blog: “Hidden Super-PAC Contributors Win Round as Court Upholds Secrecy” (In the News)

Journal Inquirer: Connecticut among worst states in free speech index (In the News)

Tenth Circuit Ruling Threatens Freedom of Association: Says Government Can Tell Parties How to Choose Their Leaders

Debunking Three Myths about the “Honest Ads Act”

Allentown Morning Call: Pa. among top states that support free speech of campaign donors (In the News)

Bloomberg Government: Kill the Zombies? FEC Mulls What to Do About Undead Campaigns (In the News)

FEC Should Avoid Overburdening Online Political Ads

Comments to FEC on Notice 2018-06 (Proposed Rulemaking on Internet Communication Disclaimers and the Definition of “Public Communication”)

Daily Caller: The Different Ways States Regulate And Protect Our First Amendment Rights (In the News)

Evansville Courier & Press: Indiana among top states for political speech rights (In the News)

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