Indy Star: Vets group petitions Supreme Court to hear robocall case (In the News)

By Fatima Hussein
A group called Patriotic Veterans Inc. is appealing a 7th Circuit Court ruling that said Indiana has a legitimate interest in blocking unwanted, or annoying, automatically dialed phone calls.
The leaders of the veterans advocacy group say there’s a more important principle at stake: the First Amendment right of free speech…
In 35 states, the Patriotic Veterans group places automated calls meant to influence public policy on issues “that matter to veterans and other voters,” its president Paul Caprio told IndyStar. The calls “encourage veterans and others to address their grievances to government officials and facilitate contact between voters and their representatives.”
But Indiana law, particularly Indiana’s Automatic Dialing Machine Statute, bars prerecorded telephone calls that contain political messages…
The statute precludes Patriotic Veterans from placing robocalls even to those who wish to receive them. Violating the law’s prohibition on political speech is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by 60 days in prison and a fine for each call.
Caprio said he sees Indiana’s regulation on robocalls as a way “to protect legislators who don’t want the annoyance of hearing their constituents’ voice.”

Filed Under: In the News, In the News Our Cases

Indiana Lawyer: Political group takes ‘robocall’ law challenge to SCOTUS (In the News)

By Dave Stafford
A political advocacy group that wants to strike down Indiana’s ban on robocalls has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the state law it calls the most restrictive in the nation.
“Who is a court to tell us how we have First Amendment rights to communicate with people?” asked Paul Caprio, President of Patriotic Veterans Inc., which is challenging the state law banning political groups from using automatic dialing technology to call Hoosiers.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Patriotic Veterans and upheld I.C. §24-5-14-5 in January…
Illinois-based Patriotic Veterans staged a news conference Tuesday at the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP to announce the filing of a petition for certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take its appeal of the 7th Circuit’s ruling…
The group in a statement said Indiana’s statute “reverses centuries of Supreme Court precedents by elevating commercial speech over First Amendment protected political/issue advocacy speech.”

Filed Under: In the News, In the News Our Cases

Daily Media Links 4/5: Do Democrats oppose Gorsuch because they hate free speech? (Yes.), Transparency for government; privacy for individuals, and more…

In the News                                        Indiana Lawyer: Political group takes ‘robocall’ law challenge to SCOTUS By Dave Stafford A political advocacy group that wants to strike down Indiana’s ban on robocalls has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn the state law it calls the most restrictive in the nation. “Who is […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Oklahoma Senate Bill 579

The Honorable Tom Gann 2300 N. Lincoln Boulevard Room 500 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Re: Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Senate Bill 579 Dear Vice Chair Gann: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics (the “Center”),[1] I respectfully submit the following comments concerning constitutional and practical issues with portions of Senate Bill 579, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, Oklahoma

Daily Media Links 4/4: Vermont’s Campaign Finance Law Survives Legal Challenge, In New York, Big Brother Is Watching Your Free Speech, and more…

CCP                                         Some Strangely Declare Modern Philanthropy a “Problem” By Joe Albanese Proponents of greater government regulation of political speech have long sought more restrictions on advocacy organizations and think tanks that participate in public policy debates – whether by stripping groups of their nonprofit status, forcing them to publicize the identities of […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Some Strangely Declare Modern Philanthropy a “Problem”

Last week, the “business” section of The Atlantic published an article about modern philanthropy in American society, touching upon a new book on the topic by writer David Callahan. The premise of The Atlantic piece is that wealthy donors use their philanthropic giving to unduly influence American society and politics – not just through policy […]

Filed Under: Blog, David Callahan, Disruptive Philanthropy, Philanthropy, The Atlantic

Center for Individual Freedom: Free Speech and Donor Privacy (In the News)

David Keating, President of the Center for Competitive Politics, discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court order in Independence Institute v. FEC, which marked a sad day for the First Amendment and for the right to criticize government, and the dangers invasive disclosure requirements pose to Americans’ First Amendment rights.

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Quotes CCP

Bloomberg BNA: D.C. Circuit Judges Wary of Challenge to Campaign Contribution Limits (In the News)

By Kenneth P. Doyle
A constitutional challenge to per-election limits on campaign contributions faced skeptical questioning from nearly all the judges of the federal appeals court in Washington during a March 29 hearing.
Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit repeatedly asked attorney Allen Dickerson whether a decision in favor of the challengers in the case, known as Holmes v. Federal Election Commission (D.C. Cir., No. 14-05281, argued 3/29/17), could threaten the whole structure of campaign contribution limits, which has been in place for decades at the federal level and in most states…
Defending the current structure of contribution limits was FEC attorney Erin Chlopak, who faced fewer questions than Dickerson from the appellate judges. Chlopak argued that the existing contribution- limit system should be easy for the court to uphold because a series of Supreme Court decisions, including the landmark 1976 case Buckley v. Valeo and other rulings, have consistently upheld the constitutionality of contribution limits.

Filed Under: Allen Dickerson, In the News, In the News Our Cases

Mother Jones: Clean Up on Aisle Trump (In the News)

Andy Kroll
On paper, McGahn, who is 48, wasn’t an obvious choice for White House counsel. He has never previously worked in a presidential administration, and he has all the attributes of the Washington elites whom Trump has denounced. (One attendee of McGahn’s 2010 wedding says it was like “a convention for election lawyers.”) Trump vowed to get big money out of politics, while McGahn has spent much of his legal career helping candidates and donors stretch the limits of campaign finance laws…
Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell cut a deal in the summer of 2008 to end the FEC’s impasse when they confirmed a slate of new commissioners, McGahn among them. From the beginning, McGahn made clear he felt no kinship with his new employer. “A lot of the staff said, ‘Welcome to the agency. It’s so nice to have you join us,'” recalls Eric Wang, an election lawyer who got to know McGahn while working for another Republican commissioner. “He made a point of saying, ‘I’m not joining you,'” making it clear that he was not there to collaborate with the career agency staff, but rather to serve as a check on them.

Filed Under: Eric Wang, In the News, Quotes CCP

Daily Media Links 4/3: First Amendment rights still in peril following climate-change probes, Gorsuch Supreme Court Nomination Gains More Democratic Support, and more…

In the News                                        Bloomberg BNA: D.C. Circuit Judges Wary of Challenge to Campaign Contribution Limits By Kenneth P. Doyle A constitutional challenge to per-election limits on campaign contributions faced skeptical questioning from nearly all the judges of the federal appeals court in Washington during a March 29 hearing. Chief Judge Merrick Garland of […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

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