Tenth Circuit Ruling Threatens Freedom of Association: Says Government Can Tell Parties How to Choose Their Leaders

Can the government control a private organization’s identity, leaders, and message? In a decision threatening all three of these First Amendment liberties, a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the state of Utah can control the procedures an organization uses to choose its leaders. In 2013, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Freedom of Association, Political Parties, Utah Republican Party v. Cox, Utah

Federal Judge Strikes Down FEC Regulation

Case against former Utah Attorney General dismissed Alexandria, VA – A federal judge today struck down a Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulation expanding liability for contributions made through straw donors. U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson ruled that the FEC “exceed[ed] its authority to write regulations and improperly intrud[ed] into the realm of law making […]

Filed Under: Blog, fec v. swallow, Newsroom, Press Releases, Utah

How to Problematize Issue Advocacy

A recent Pacific Standard article offers a master class in how to spin run-of-the-mill issue advocacy into a spectacular conspiracy. “Awash in Dark Money, a Western Think Tank is Leading the Charge Against the Antiquities Act” is a must read, though not for the reasons the author intends. The subject – or target – of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Antiquities Act, Dark Money, Issue Advocacy, Jimmy Tobias, Pacific Standard, Private Giving, Sutherland Institute, Utah

Ravel’s Support for Ending PACs Exposes Her Long-Term Policy Goals

When Ann Ravel resigned from her post at the Federal Election Commission earlier this year, she made it clear that her activism would continue from outside the agency. To that end, she wrote an op-ed last week in the San Francisco Chronicle advocating for a bill in Congress entitled the “No PAC Act” (H.R. 1743). […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Ann Ravel, corruption, Fundraising, No PAC Act, PACs, Political Committees, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia

Utah Agrees to Pay $125,000 in Free Speech Lawsuit

State of Utah previously conceded First Amendment violation Alexandria, VA – The state of Utah today told a federal court it would pay $125,000 in attorney’s fees in a constitutional challenge to its campaign finance laws. If the court approves the fees, as expected, it would mark the final step in a lawsuit filed on […]

Filed Under: Blog, Press Releases, Utah Taxpayers Association v. Cox, Utah Taxpayers Association v. Cox, Utah

Utah settles lawsuit, concedes First Amendment violation

Alexandria, VA – In an agreement approved by a federal judge this afternoon, Utah agreed not to enforce a state campaign finance law that violated the First Amendment. The complex law required nonprofit advocacy groups to register with the state and publicly report their supporters’ private information, threatening donations to those organizations. The agreement, known […]

Filed Under: Blog, Press Releases, Utah Taxpayers Association v. Cox, uta v. cox, Utah

Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus and the (Bleak) Future of Statutes that Ban False Statements in Political Campaigns

In this University of Pennsylvania Law Review article, author Margaret H. Zhang assesses the constitutionality of state false statement law statutes in the wake of recent court decisions. As Zhang explains, today’s political candidates must be prepared for mudslinging targeted not just at their professional lives, but also at their private lives, appearance, genealogy, religion, […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, SBA List v. Driehaus, False Statement Laws, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Litigation Backgrounder: Utah Taxpayers Association, et al. v. Cox, et al.

The Issue in Brief When the state decides to regulate the speech of citizen groups, it must specify in an understandable way what speech triggers regulation and detailed reporting to the government. Even if the state does this correctly, does it have the power to force groups that spend only a small portion of their […]

Filed Under: Utah Taxpayers Association v. Cox, Utah

Practical Issues with Utah House Bill 60

The Honorable Jack R. Draxler The Honorable Bradley M. Daw Re:  Practical Issues with House Bill 60 Dear Chair Draxler, Vice Chair Daw, and members of the House Government Operations Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics, I am writing you today to respectfully submit the following comments regarding the practical impact of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits Comments, Contribution Limits State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Money in Politics, State Comments and Testimony, Utah

Aggregate Effects of Large-Scale Campaigns on Voter Turnout

In this study, authors Ryan D. Enos, Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University, and Anthony Fowler, Assistant Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago, assess to what extent political campaigns mobilize voters. Despite the central role of campaigns in American politics and despite many […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Research, GOTV, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin

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