Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), America’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights, applauds President Trump’s selection of Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch as a nominee for the Supreme Court. “Judge Gorsuch’s opinions show an understanding that the role of a judge is not to enact his own preferences, but neither is […]
Archives for January 2017
Hon. Neil Gorsuch United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2006-Present) This post reviews a case Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote concerning First Amendment retaliation and the right to petition government. Cases relating to the petition clause are fairly rare, and the lower court dismissed the First Amendment claims. This case exemplifies Judge Gorsuch’s […]
Hon. Neil Gorsuch United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2006-Present) This post examines four opinions Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote or joined concerning media freedoms under the First Amendment. These cases made either defamation or invasion of privacy claims or both. (For our previous analysis of Judge Gorsuch’s views on free speech, please […]
By Scott Blackburn and Ron Williamson
In the past year, the Center for Competitive Politics has completed law suits in Colorado and Utah against similar unconstitutional laws. In both cases, our clients won. Judges in both states ruled that overly broad rules on small non-political speakers and vague laws are unconstitutional. Courts are not fond of violations of the Constitution – both states have pay out six figure fees for enacting laws that restricted the First Amendment.
Some lawmakers have responded to this the wrong way. They’ve proposed capping donations for future ballot initiatives. But even if we don’t like what supporters of an initiative are saying, the First Amendment stops us from restricting their ability to say it. We can’t fight unconstitutional laws with more unconstitutional laws.
Other legislators are acting responsibly. They are repealing IM 22 before any damage can be done. This is triply valuable to the citizens of South Dakota. $5 Million in revenue that would have gone to politicians can now be put to better use. The Attorney General need not waste time defending an unconstitutional bill that could’ve cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. And most importantly, South Dakotans will once again be free to express opinions without retaliation from state bureaucrats.
VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION SYSTEM Federal Election Commission Attn.: Mr. Neven F. Stipanovic Acting Assistant General Counsel Federal Election Commission 999 E Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20463 RE: Notice 2016-11: Rulemaking Petition: Political Party Rules Dear Mr. Stipanovic: The Center for Competitive Politics (the “Center” or “CCP”), respectfully submits these comments in response to Notice 2016-11. […]
Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Comments, Contribution Limits Federal, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, coordination, FEC, federal election commission, Owen Yeates, State Political Parties
Comments to FEC Regarding Notice 2016-10: Rulemaking Petition: Implementing the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015
VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION SYSTEM Federal Election Commission Attn.: Mr. Neven F. Stipanovic Acting Assistant General Counsel Federal Election Commission 999 E Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20463 RE: Notice 2016-10: Rulemaking Petition: Implementing the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 Dear Mr. Stipanovic: The Center for Competitive Politics (“the Center”) respectfully submits these comments in […]
Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Comments, Contribution Limits Federal, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, FEC, federal election commission, Owen Yeates, Political Parties
The Insider: Judge Neil Gorsuch’s First Amendment Decisions Show Respect for Free Speech (In the News)
By David Keating
The minor party contributors who bring this equal protection challenge suggest (at least in places) that we should consider applying strict scrutiny to this particular aspect of Colorado’s statutory scheme. They say that contributing in elections implicates a fundamental liberty interest, that Colorado’s scheme favors the exercise of that fundamental liberty interest by some at the expense of others, and for this reason warrants the most searching level of judicial scrutiny. For my part, I don’t doubt this line of argument has much to recommend it. The trouble is, we have no controlling guidance on the question from the Supreme Court. And in what guidance we do have lie some conflicting cues.
No one before us disputes that the act of contributing to political campaigns implicates a “basic constitutional freedom,” one lying “at the foundation of a free society” and enjoying a significant relationship to the right to speak and associate – both expressly protected First Amendment activities. Even so, the Court has yet to apply strict scrutiny to contribution limit challenges – employing instead something pretty close but not quite the same thing.
By David Keating
We found four cases relevant to First Amendment speech freedoms where Judge Hardiman either wrote or joined an opinion. Additionally, he voted against a petition for en banc review of Delaware Strong Families v. Denn, where CCP represented the plaintiff in one of the most important campaign finance cases of 2016…
The question presented in this lawsuit was simple. Should the state have the power to regulate groups that publish nonpartisan voter guides in essentially the same way that it regulates candidate committees, political parties, and PACs?
Judge Hardiman did not sit on the panel that heard this important case. However, he and the other Third Circuit judges received a petition asking the full en banc court to review the decision. A short brief accompanied the petition, which was denied. Judges Kent A. Jordan and Thomas I. Vanaskie voted to grant the petition, but Judge Hardiman did not…
After en banc review by the Third Circuit was denied, a certiorari petition was filed, unsuccessfully, with the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a highly unusual six-page dissent denouncing the Court’s refusal to hear the case. Such dissents are rare. Justice Samuel Alito also announced that he would have granted review.