First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

PDF available here “The inherent worth of the speech in terms of its capacity for informing the public does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.” – First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 777 (1978) Can the government silence speech about an election simply […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Ballot Issue Advocacy, corporate speech, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Supreme Court, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Massachusetts

Free Speech Doesn’t “Drown Out” Other Voices

This week, Katrina vanden Heuvel penned an op-ed in The Washington Post alleging that “big and dark money” are “drown[ing] out” the voices of ordinary Americans. The core gripe that motivates vanden Heuvel’s argument is that progressives and Democrats face an uphill battle in the race for campaign funding, despite being favored in generic ballot […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, First Amendment, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Political Spending, The Washington Post v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

PDF available here  “[T]he government can have no anti-corruption interest in limiting contributions to independent expenditure-only organizations.” – v. Federal Election Commission[1] 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 […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Buckley v. Valeo, v. FEC, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Campaign Finance Institute Report on 2016 Election Spending Shows that Money Isn’t Everything

In politics, it’s easy for narratives to take hold before the facts have a chance to catch up. Political speech issues are no different. In the heat of a campaign, developments in political spending are often reported as if they are the most important factors in determining electoral outcomes, but does this hold true when […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, 2016 Election Cycle, Brendan Glavin, Campaign Finance Institute, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Michael J. Malbin, Political Spending

The Price of Corporate Speech Rights: Sometimes They’ll Say Things You Dislike

A wave of businesses distancing themselves from the National Rifle Association is increasing skepticism of corporate political power among conservatives. A recent article in The Federalist argues that corporate political activism goes against “the true spirit of a republic” and amounts to “rule by an unelected elite.” These views overstate the power of corporate executives […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, corporate speech, First Amendment

Letter in Support of H.R. 4916 (“Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act”)

PDF of letter available here The Honorable Kevin Brady The Honorable Richard Neal Dear Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal, and Members of the House Ways and Means Committee: The Institute for Free Speech[1] writes in support of H.R. 4916, the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act.” The measure, sponsored by Representative Peter Roskam […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal Comments and Testimony, IRS and the Tea Party, Form 990, H.R. 4916, Peter Roskam, Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, Schedule B

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 […]

Filed Under: Blog, Super PACs, Infographic, v. FEC

Campaign “Pledges” Are Often Self-Serving for Incumbents

Members of Congress don’t get along much these days. Americans are well aware that they live in a time of great partisan division, one of the consequences of which is Congress’s continual inability to function efficiently. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia thinks he has a solution: a pledge that sitting senators not campaign against […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, congress, Incumbency Protection, Joe Manchin, NO PAC Caucus, People's Pledge

Every American’s Ability to Speak About the President is What Really Makes America Great

No president in the history of the United States has ever had a 100% approval rating, and likely no president ever will. The Trump administration, which is in no danger of hitting the 100% mark, has received its fair share of criticism. While there are many who approve of what President Trump has done during […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Donald Trump, Tom Steyer

Looks Like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Missed the Memo on Doing Wealthy Donors’ Bidding

The idea that politicians are only accountable to those who write the biggest checks has been peddled for years by those trying to justify greater government regulation of political speech. These folks argue that democracy in the U.S. would be better off if the government had more flexibility to do things like restrict campaign contributions, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, #MeToo, Al Franken, Donors, Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Susie Tompkins Buell

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