Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Americans Support Speech Regulation… If They Are Not Told the Facts Surrounding It

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), a news outlet biased in favor of greater political speech regulation, touted recent polling by the University of Maryland’s “Voice of the People” initiative. In their story, CPI specifically highlighted results showing that a large proportion of respondents support certain regulatory policies, such as a constitutional amendment […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Money in Politics, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, polling, University of Maryland, Voice of the People

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, AAN, American Action Network, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, CREW v. FEC, Electioneering Communications, federal election commission, Judge Christopher Cooper, Major Purpose Test

Democracy Faces Many Challenges, But Free Speech is Not One of Them

On Tuesday, the Brookings Institution held an event entitled “Democracy’s resilience: Is America’s democracy threatened?” During the event, a panel of scholars discussed trends in U.S. and global democracy, as well as the potential erosion of democratic institutions. The panel featured E.J. Dionne, William Galston, and Thomas Mann of Brookings, and Steven Levitsky, Yascha Mounk, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Brookings Institution, democracy, First Amendment, free speech, Political Speech Rights, Thomas Mann

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

PDF available here “The inherent worth of the speech in terms of its capacity for informing the public does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.” – First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 777 (1978) Can the government silence speech about an election simply […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Ballot Issue Advocacy, corporate speech, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Supreme Court, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Massachusetts

Free Speech Doesn’t “Drown Out” Other Voices

This week, Katrina vanden Heuvel penned an op-ed in The Washington Post alleging that “big and dark money” are “drown[ing] out” the voices of ordinary Americans. The core gripe that motivates vanden Heuvel’s argument is that progressives and Democrats face an uphill battle in the race for campaign funding, despite being favored in generic ballot […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, First Amendment, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Political Spending, The Washington Post

SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

PDF available here  “[T]he government can have no anti-corruption interest in limiting contributions to independent expenditure-only organizations.” – SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission[1] If one person can speak about a candidate without limit, can Congress ban two, three, or hundreds of people from joining together to do the same? That was the simple question presented […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Buckley v. Valeo, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

The Price of Corporate Speech Rights: Sometimes They’ll Say Things You Dislike

A wave of businesses distancing themselves from the National Rifle Association is increasing skepticism of corporate political power among conservatives. A recent article in The Federalist argues that corporate political activism goes against “the true spirit of a republic” and amounts to “rule by an unelected elite.” These views overstate the power of corporate executives […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, corporate speech, First Amendment

Is Patagonia Destroying Democracy?

Holiday shoppers visiting the online home of outdoor apparel and equipment retailer Patagonia, Inc. are encountering an overtly political message: “The President Stole Your Land.” That is just the beginning of the company’s advocacy. Upon clicking “Learn More,” visitors are presented with a brief description of what exactly the company is referring to: “In an […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Bears Ears National Monument, Corporate Advocacy, corporate speech, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Patagonia, Public Lands

Brookings Panel Offers an (Incomplete) Historical Background on the Relationship Between Corporations and Democracy

On Wednesday morning, the Brookings Institution hosted an event to examine the relationship between corporations and democracy throughout American history. However, the role of nonprofit groups in allowing citizens to speak freely about politics was noticeably absent from the conversation. The discussion drew largely on the various arguments presented in the aptly titled book, Corporations […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Brookings Institution, corporate speech, Corporations and American Democracy, DISCLOSE Act of 2017, Honest Ads Act, Naomi Lamoreaux, Tobin Project

Citizens United v. FEC: Facts and Falsehoods

“If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.” – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310, 349 (2010) The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down a provision of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Handouts, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

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