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Can Clinton Campaign Be Indicted?

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians for various violations of U.S. law pertaining to elections is drawing a lot of quick and often uninformed comment about campaign finance and lobbying laws. Today let’s start with this piece, which seems to be making the rounds: Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for […]

Filed Under: Uncategorized, campaign finance, Christopher Steele, DNC, Foreign Agents Registration Act, FusionGPS, Hillary Clinton, indictments, Perkins Coie, Robert Mueller, Russians, Trump

Daily Media Links 2/15: Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown, Missouri Supreme Court Rules for Campaign Violation Fees, and more…

Free Speech Reason: Wired Thinks Free Speech Has Been Tried and Failed By Brian Doherty The most casual gloss on the history of First Amendment litigation in America should make it obvious, especially for Trump- and GOP-haters, exactly how dangerous it is to casually toss aside the principle of legal protection for free speech. Consider, for […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

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

Daily Media Links 1/9: Ahead Of Key Vote, Bowser Comes Out Against Public Financing Of Political Campaigns In D.C., Fake News, Real Censorship, and more…

New from the Institute for Free Speech Candidate Oprah? Campaign Finance Laws Would Give Her a Leg Up By Luke Wachob Imagine a new candidate just starting her campaign for federal office. She needs money to pay for staff, transportation, lodging, and promotional materials, such as yard signs and bumper stickers. If she’s like most […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

Daily Media Links 12/8: Make No Mistake, Crimes Were Committed In John Doe Leak, Schimel Says, City attorney rules on campaign finance violations, and more…

Supreme Court Forbes: Cutting Through The Rhetoric About Compelled Union Dues By Brian Miller The Supreme Court has long held that you can’t compel people to speak the state’s message. Even in contexts where the state acts in a managerial role (like as an employer) it can restrict some speech in the name of regulating […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

Daily Media Links 12/7: Illinois Democrats ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear Blagojevich’s appeal, Trump administration opposes unions in key Supreme Court case, and more…

In the News Urban Family Talk: Stacy on the Right (Audio) Institute for Free Speech Attorney Zac Morgan discusses the Fist Amendment implications of the Supreme Court case Carpenter v. United States (beginning at 19:00). New from the Institute for Free Speech Letter in Support of Repeal of the Internal Revenue Service’s Form 990, Schedule […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

Daily Media Links 11/29: To Protect our Democracy, We Need to Protect Anonymous Low-Cost Online Political Speech, If cops can get phone data without a warrant, it could be a nightmare for journalists – and sources, and more…

In the News HuffPost: Giving Corporations More Power Is The Wrong Response To Russian Propaganda By Luke Wachob Thanks to the Supreme Court, the government isn’t able to shut down dissenting views today. But private companies? That’s a totally different story. Private entities are not bound by the First Amendment, so when they join forces […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

Morning Consult: FEC Commissioner Says Agency Limited in Ability to Regulate Online Political Ads (In the News)

By Edward Graham
Bradley Smith, a former Republican FEC commissioner from 2000 to 2005 and the chairman and founder of the Institute for Free Speech, agreed that the agency is limited in the steps it could take to address online ads…
“I think [the FEC is] very limited on what they can do, and this is one of the points too when we talk about $100,000 in advertising – a lot of that is stuff that would not actually be subject to FEC regulation, because it was done outside the window of electioneering communication,” Smith said in a Wednesday phone interview. “It’s not express advocacy, so, again, there would be big limits on what the FEC could require there.”
Smith called the Honest Ads Act “sort of your classic overreaction” to reports that Russian-linked groups spent approximately $100,000 on political ads on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election cycle, saying that the amount spent was just a drop in the bucket compared to total political spending.
“People don’t like the idea, understandably so, that Russians are trying to meddle in our elections or turn us against each other,” Smith said. “It just seems odd that the result is, now that we know that, we’re nonetheless letting ourselves turn against each other and starting to regulate our freedoms away and so on. It’s just not an appropriate response.”

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP, Uncategorized

Deseret News: New John Swallow defense team asks judge to toss FEC complaint against him (In the News)

By Dennis Romboy
Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow has mobilized a free-speech rights group and a former Federal Election Commission chairman to defend him against alleged election law violations.
Lawyers for the Center for Competitive Politics and ex-FEC Chairman Scott Thomas, all based in Washington, D.C., have asked a federal judge to dismiss the complaint against Swallow.
“The FEC’s pursuit of Mr. Swallow is a clear overreach of the agency’s constitutional authority, made especially dangerous by the fact that it concerns his speech rather than his actions,” Allen Dickerson, the center’s legal director, said in a statement.
Swallow broke no law, and the regulation cited in the complaint is illegal and violates the First Amendment, according to the filing in U.S. District Court. 

Filed Under: Allen Dickerson, In the News, In the News Our Cases, Quotes CCP, Uncategorized

Wall Street Journal: Proposed ‘Honest Ads Act’ Seeks More Disclosure About Online Political Ads (In the News)

By Byron Tau
In a press conference Thursday, Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mark Warner of Virginia unveiled the Honest Ads Act…
Reps. Derek Kilmer (D., Wash.) and Mike Coffman (R., Colo.) have introduced similar legislation in the House.
The bill still faces an uncertain path through Congress. Many GOP lawmakers have balked at Democratic proposals to curb the flow of money in the political process, with many arguing that such spending is protected by the Constitution’s guarantees of free speech. Ms. Klobuchar hoped that it could be attached to one of the must-pass national security related bills that Congress periodically considers…
David Keating, the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, said the new proposal leaves “many unanswered questions.”
“One thing is clear-it won’t do anything to the Russians, but will certainly hit Americans who want to exercise their First Amendment rights,” said Mr. Keating, whose group argues that political spending is a form of free speech and opposes greater restrictions on money in politics.
Mr. Keating said he was concerned that a lot of grass-roots groups could be affected by the law, and that the fear of liability or running afoul of the law may turn social media platforms like Facebook into a “government speech cop.” 

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

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