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Political Spending: Civic Engagement is Not a Threat to Democracy

January 1, 2018  •  By IFS Staff  •    •  

The First Amendment guarantees every American freedom of speech. That freedom includes the right to spend money on speech. Without money, a political group cannot buy ads, print fliers, organize protests, or hire staff. Short of shouting one’s opinions on a street corner, it takes money to spread a message. Recognizing this relationship, the Supreme Court has long prohibited the…

Free Speech Index

The Institute for Free Speech is pleased to present the Free Speech Index: A first-of-its-kind analysis of laws restricting speech about government in all ...

Love, Elections, and the Not-So-Almighty Dollar

February 11, 2022   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  ,

This Valentine’s Day, we’ll storm off to the florists and jewelers in hopes of scoring all the love money can buy – even though ...

New Jersey Senate Race Shows Money Doesn’t Buy Elections… Again

December 7, 2021   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , ,

Edward Durr’s astonishing victory over New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is the latest illustration that money doesn’t buy elections. Campaign spending increases public ...

Spooky Spending? Halloween Maybe, But Not Virginia Campaigns.

October 28, 2021   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , ,

This year’s Virginia gubernatorial race is already reportedly the most expensive in state history. The frontrunners have raised a combined $115 million. Spooky? Meh. ...

Issue Analysis No. 12: Did Citizens United Harm Political Participation?

September 20, 2021   •  By Alec Greven   •  , , ,

When the Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. FEC in 2010, many critics argued it would have a devastating impact on democracy. This analysis ...

Nina Turner’s Self-Serving Campaign Finance Myth

August 5, 2021   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , , ,

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Ohio, former State Senator Nina Turner was defeated by Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown. Turner blamed her loss on ...

Issue Analysis No. 11: Do Out-of-State Donations Lead to Electoral Success?

July 21, 2021   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , ,

This study suggests that out-of-state campaign donations are not as indicative of potential election outcomes as in-state dollars may be. Efforts to limit out-of-state ...

Assumptions Gone Awry: New Book Casts Further Doubt on “Appearance of Corruption” Legal Standard

In an insightful new book, The Appearance of Corruption: Testing the Supreme Court’s Assumptions about Campaign Finance Reform, three political scientists examine the Court's ...

Misunderstanding Corporate PACs: The Media’s Mistaken Target

March 17, 2021   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , ,

In the aftermath of the Capitol riot, media outlets have increased their focus on an often-misunderstood vehicle for political contributions – corporate PACs. Misleading ...

H.R. 1 and S. 1 Resource Guide (2021)

H.R. 1 and S. 1 would impose sweeping new restrictions on speech about campaigns and public affairs. The Institute for Free Speech has created ...

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