Amicus Brief in DeLay v. State

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Arguing that laws criminalizing First Amendment conduct must at least be clear, the Center for Competitive Politics filed an amicus brief in the Texas Court of Appeals in DeLay v. State.

For nearly a decade, Tom DeLay and his colleagues have been involved in a legal challenge concerning the constitutionality of the Texas Election Code.  The case centers on a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice alleging that even though DeLay and his associates complied with relevant provisions of Texas election law, their use of election funds was somehow illegal.

The appeal involves a question about the validity of what are popularly termed “money swaps.”  These occurred frequently in Texas and nationally where certain funds donated to a state organization were “swapped” for other funds donated by a national organization.  What most election law experts called an accepted practice, the State of Texas called money laundering.

“The government has a responsibility to articulate a clear, compelling interest before it regulates political speech,” said CCP Legal Director Allen Dickerson. “This brief furthers our work in previous cases, like Careyand, to require the state to set clear and constitutional rules of the road, and to limit its regulations to the prevention of actual corruption.”

No oral argument or disposition date has been set for the appeal.  CCP will monitor the case as it advances.

Download the PDF file .

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