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Issue Advocacy: A Cornerstone of Democracy

January 1, 2018  •  By IFS Staff  •    •  

The First Amendment protects speech from burdensome government regulation. Until the 1970s, federal law largely did not regulate either campaign speech or issue speech by advocacy groups. That changed with the adoption of the Federal Election Campaign Act. The Act attempted to regulate any speech “relative to a clearly identified candidate.” This law, and the subsequent Supreme Court decision Buckley…

Facebook takes the muzzle off Georgia Senate races, but is it too late?

December 18, 2020   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , ,

For over six weeks, Facebook held two Senate races hostage, blocking four candidates from reaching Georgia voters with ads before next month’s election. On ...

Election yard signs are as American as apple pie

December 1, 2020   •  By Ryan Morrison   •  , , ,

Yard signs represent a proud tradition of political advocacy. For candidates who receive limited media coverage, they are a low-cost way of introducing themselves ...

Facebook’s Political Ad Blackout Is Terrible for Democracy

October 28, 2020   •  By Alec Greven   •  , ,

This week, Facebook began shutting out thousands of voices from discussions on political or social issues. The company’s blackout on new political and issue ...

Campaign law blackouts limit political speech when public debate is needed the most

October 21, 2020   •  By Luke Wachob   •  ,

“Electioneering communications” laws forget that government doesn’t shut down when campaign season kicks in. This year’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is proof.

Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Will Harm Challengers and Block Useful Information

October 5, 2020   •  By Alex Baiocco   •  , ,

Facebook’s recent decision to ban any new political and issue ads from running the week before Election Day is a predictable result of elected ...

New ad disclaimers silence activists

September 16, 2020   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , , , ,

This piece originally appeared in the The Hill on September 16, 2020.   Can the government put words in your mouth? The Constitution says no, ...

Analysis of the “Judicial Ads Act” (S. 4183)

July 29, 2020   •  By Eric Wang   •  , ,

The Judicial Ads Act furthers no apparent legitimate disclosure interest – whether as the campaign finance bill it purports to be or as a ...

Constitutional Concerns with Proposed Code of Wyoming Rules Chapter 002.0005.28

July 24, 2020   •  By Tyler Martinez   •  , , ,

The Institute urges the Wyoming Secretary of State to rewrite and narrow the Proposed Rule defining “direct coordination” to avoid unnecessarily encroaching on core ...

Senators Merkley and Udall Tout Legislation that Hands Power to the Politicians

March 30, 2020   •  By Alex Baiocco   •  , , ,

Senators Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall describe H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People Act,” as “legislation to put power back in the hands ...

Courts come to defense of free speech in New Jersey, New York

November 18, 2019   •  By David Keating   •  , , , ,

As legislatures and administrative bodies fight harder than ever to expose the identities of nonprofit donors, courts must step up to the challenge of ...

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