CCP Helps Secure a Win for Free Speech in Indiana

The Center for Competitive Politics has spent the last year litigating an Indiana case involving a non-profit group called Patriotic Veterans, Inc., a group fighting for their right to make political robocalls in the Hoosier State as a matter of free speech. This week, a federal court issued an injunction preventing enforcement of a state law that bans prerecorded political telephone calls. From the press release:

Thanks to a ruling today in federal court, the non-profit group Patriotic Veterans, Inc. can finally begin exercising its political speech rights over the phone.

Judge William T. Lawrence of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana issued an injunction today against enforcement of an Indiana law barring prerecorded telephone calls that contain a political message. Patriotic Veterans argued that the law violates the free speech rights of advocacy organizations like the Illinois-based non-profit, which makes political calls in advance of general elections. Patriotic Veterans is represented by Paul Jefferson of the Indianapolis firm of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, and the Center for Competitive Politics of Alexandria, Virginia.

The Court held that Federal law preempted the Indiana statutory regulation prohibiting automatic calls.

CCP got involved in the case in 2010, working with the Indianapolis law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP to represent the group. The intention was to ensure that the regulations barring this type of political activity were recognized by the court as running counter to federal laws guaranteeing First Amendment rights of free speech.

“We believe that these laws violate the First Amendment rights of speakers and voters,” said [CCP Founder Bradley] Smith, “While the Court did not address our First Amendment arguments, the end result is the same: today’s ruling advances the First Amendment and provides for more competitive elections in the state.”

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.