Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: Virginia ranked A+ for political free speech rights
By Joe Albanese
Imagine that you lived in a state where it was illegal to express too much support for a candidate. Such a law would be a blatant violation of the First Amendment. The ability to support causes and candidates of one’s choice is key to participation in a democratic society.
Yet many states place limits on one of the most impactful ways to do so: donating money to campaigns and political groups.
For those without the time to work or volunteer in politics, this outlet is especially important. As a new Index from the Institute for Free Speech shows, state laws that limit contributions to such groups effectively restrict Americans’ First Amendment rights.
The Institute’s Free Speech Index scores and ranks all 50 states on their laws governing political giving, grading them from A+ to F. Fortunately, Virginia is ranked as one of the top states in the country, earning an A+ grade.
This places it alongside 10 other states that earned an ‘A’ or higher.
One crucial trait these states have in common is that they don’t limit the freedom of individuals to give to candidates, parties and political committees, or the ability of parties and political committees to give to candidates…
Giving money is not just a show of support. It also enables candidates and groups to spread their message further.