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).

Filed Under: Featured Content

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.

Filed Under: Featured Content

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.

Filed Under: Featured Content

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.

Filed Under: Featured Content

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.

Filed Under: Featured Content

Amy Klobuchar Knows Exactly What She’s Doing, and It Should Scare You

We have written extensively before about the dangers of the so-called “Honest Ads Act,” a bill introduced late last year by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), and John McCain (R-AZ). Purported to be legislation intended to stymie Russian efforts to influence our elections, the bill would actually regulate and restrict online internet ads […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amy Klobuchar, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, Russia, S. 1989

Amicus Brief: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

The Institute has urged the Supreme Court to strike down overbroad speech restrictions at the voting booth in Minnesota. In this case, the Eighth Circuit upheld a law prohibiting a voter from wearing a T-shirt that depicted the Gadsden flag, the historic American emblem depicting a coiled rattlesnake and the words, “don’t tread on me.”

Filed Under: Featured Content, Uncategorized

Amicus Brief: Lozman v. Riviera Beach

Filed Under: Featured Content

Political Contributions are Speech: Jeff Flake Edition

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake recently made a $100 contribution to Alabama’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Doug Jones. Along with the donation, Flake sent out this tweet: Country over Party pic.twitter.com/JZMTaEYdxQ — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 5, 2017 Why’d Flake do this? To make a political statement. From Flake’s perspective, the message is: I […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Doug Jones, Jeff Flake, Alabama, Arizona

Let’s Talk Turkey: Comparing 2016 Election and Thanksgiving Spending

Over Thanksgiving, one of your relatives may have mentioned the amount of money ($6.4 Billion) spent in the 2016 election cycle, asserting that there is “too much money in politics.” Many advocates for greater government regulation of political speech would say the same. But, compared to what Americans spent over 5-days beginning on Thanksgiving, $6.4 Billion over a two-year period doesn’t seem like so much.

Filed Under: Featured Content

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