Daily Media Links 5/18

May 18, 2022   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  
Default Article

In the News

RNLA: SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of Cruz In Campaign Finance Case

In a brief supporting Cruz’s position, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell argued:

“The burden imposed by BCRA’s loan-repayment limit “is evident and inherent in the choice that confronts” candidates who wish to use personal loans for campaign financing. The limit means a candidate might not recoup amounts in excess of $250,000; thus the limit chills core political speech, especially speech by unknown challengers who need to spend more to be heard. And the loan-repayment limit does not serve any legitimate government interest.” …

Other briefs filed in support of Senator Cruz included those filed by the Republican National CommitteeSenators Roy Blunt, Bill Cassidy, Kevin Cramer, Cindy Hyde-Smith, and Roger Wicker; and the Institute for Free Speech.

Supreme Court

Washington Post: Supreme Court agrees with Cruz, strikes campaign contribution limit

By Robert Barnes

“This Court has recognized only one permissible ground for restricting political speech: the prevention of ‘quid pro quo’ corruption or its appearance,” Roberts wrote, “We have consistently rejected attempts to restrict campaign speech based on other legislative aims.”

For example, “we have denied attempts to reduce the amount of money in politics … to level electoral opportunities by equalizing candidate resources … and to limit the general influence a contributor may have over an elected official,” he wrote. “However well intentioned such proposals may be, the First Amendment — as this Court has repeatedly emphasized — prohibits such attempts to tamper with the ‘right of citizens to choose who shall govern them.’ ”

The Courts

WPLN: A federal judge strikes down a state law as ‘a public jab at transgender Tennesseans’

By Marianna Bacallao

A federal judge has struck down a Tennessee law that would’ve required businesses and schools to post a warning sign if they allow transgender people to use the restroom that aligns with their gender.

The same judge had granted a temporary injunction against the law, stopping it from taking effect last summer. Judge Aleta Trauger ruled that the law violated the First Amendment rights of trans-friendly businesses…

The law, which passed the state legislature in 2021, lays out specific language for the signs. They would’ve had to say that the facility “maintains a policy of allowing use of the restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom” printed in bold, block letters under a red-and-yellow heading…

“It would do a disservice to the First Amendment to judge the Act for anything other than what it is: a brazen attempt to single out trans-inclusive establishments and force them to parrot a message that they reasonably believe would sow fear and misunderstanding about the very transgender Tennesseans whom those establishments are trying to provide with some semblance of a safe and welcoming environment,” Trauger wrote.

CBS 4 Indy: ACLU sues Boone Co. for ‘silencing citizens on Facebook’

By Matt Christy

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against Boone County on behalf of a citizen who was blocked by the county’s Facebook page after he posted a comment stating his intent to vote for the incumbent commissioner’s challenger in the primary election…

“The First Amendment protects people, who regardless of their views, attempt to hold the government accountable through expression,” said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana Senior Attorney. “Boone County’s practice of silencing citizens on Facebook who are critical of the County’s actions is unconstitutional.”

Washington Post: Georgia students sue over blocked protest against rebel flag

By Jeff Amy, AP

Several Black students who were suspended for trying to protest Confederate flag displays at their school in Georgia have filed a federal lawsuit…

Students are banned from wearing Black Lives Matter shirts, but Confederate flag apparel is acceptable under the school’s dress code, the lawsuit says…

The lawsuit accuses school officials of creating “an atmosphere where certain viewpoints including white nationalism and white supremacy are permitted but speech of an ideologically different viewpoint is expressly prohibited.”

When a group of students sought to protest the ability of their classmates to wear the Confederate flag on campus, the principal threatened student Deserae Turner that she could be jailed for “instigating a riot,” the lawsuit says. The principal also announced over the intercom that any student protesting or even possessing a flyer announcing the protest would be disciplined.


RealClearPolitics: Sen. Gillibrand on Buffalo Shooting: “You Don’t Have To Regulate Speech, You Can Regulate Misinformation”

By Ian Schwartz

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) talked about regulating speech on the internet on Monday with MSNBC host Katy Tur: “You don’t have to regulate speech, you can regulate misinformation. You can’t yell fire in a theater… there are many ways you can abrogate speech rights that are consistent with the constitution. And for an 18-year-old to develop such hatred in his heart through media platforms that do not have any regulation is a problem. We need commonsense, thoughtful regulation.”

The Hill: Sanders calls for DNC to ban on super PAC money in Democratic primaries

By Max Greenwood

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to ban super PAC money from the party’s primaries.

In a letter to DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, Sanders said that party leaders have failed to live up to their own values by refusing to condemn “the many millions of dollars in dark money being spent by super PACs that are now attempting to buy Democratic primaries.”

“The goal of this billionaire funded effort is to crush the candidacies of a number of progressive women of color who are running for Congress,” he wrote.

Sanders urged the DNC to publicly denounce super PAC money in Democratic primaries and consider disciplinary action for any candidate who bucks the party line on the issue…

“Dark money is dark money, whether it is funded by Republican billionaires or Democratic billionaires,” Sanders wrote.


Insider: Trump’s campaign committee dodges penalty as federal watchdog deadlocks on complaint it laundered hundreds of millions of dollars

By Dave Levinthal and C. Ryan Barber

Federal regulators have deadlocked on a complaint that Donald Trump’s 2020 White House campaign laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in spending through corporate entities closely tied to the ex-president and his family, according to a ruling document obtained by Insider.

The ruling by the Federal Election Commission, which the agency has not yet made public, does not offer reasons for the bipartisan body’s decision on an arrangement detailed in late 2020 by Insider. The six-member commission was “equally divided” on several legal questions it considered, according to a letter it sent Monday to the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, which had filed a formal complaint…

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a Democratic appointee and the agency’s longest-tenured commissioner, confirmed Monday that she voted to find reason to believe the Trump campaign and related individuals had violated federal law.

“Disclosure is the core mission of the FEC, and it’s important for an informed electorate to know where the money is coming from and where the money is going,” Weintraub said.

She added that she was “disappointed that we did not have the votes to go forward” and expressed concern that such a decision will “look to the public like the commission is making decisions on a partisan basis.”

Donor Privacy

New York Times: Crypto Joins the Abortion Conversation

By Anna P. Kambhampaty, Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Valeriya Safronova

There have been attempts to make crypto donations more accessible to charitable organizations…

“We offer nonprofits the ability to protect donor privacy by allowing anonymous donations,” Alex Wilson, a founder of the Giving Block, wrote in an email. “This has become popular for human rights organizations where donors might not otherwise give for fear of retaliation or targeting based on a cause they support.” …

Still, organizations like Planned Parenthood are keeping an open mind about how they might raise and distribute funds.

Alexis McGill Johnson, the organization’s president and chief executive, said Planned Parenthood was “looking into a number of things” in the realm of cryptocurrencies but would not divulge details.

“The bottom line is all of the options are on the table,” she said.

Online Speech Platforms

Los Angeles Times: After Buffalo, will social media companies finally ban great replacement theory?

By Brian Contreras

The Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting that claimed 10 lives Saturday was an event shaped by, and for, internet platforms, including message boards and streaming and social media sites.

Now, as the predominantly Black neighborhood that suspected killer Payton Gendron targeted is left reeling, whether those platforms allow their users to promulgate the racist “great replacement theory” that appears to have motivated him has become a matter of public safety.

Candidates and Campaigns

Washington Post: He’s raised and spent millions running against Marjorie Taylor Greene

By Paul Schwartzman

It didn’t matter that Luongo doesn’t live in Georgia, let alone the district where Flowers is running. Nor does it seem to matter that Flowers — or any Democrat, for that matter — is viewed as having little chance of unseating Greene, who won in 2020 with nearly 75 percent of the vote in one of Georgia’s most pro-Trump areas…

“It’s important that we tell Marjorie Taylor Greene that not everyone likes her,” Luongo says by phone from Boca Raton, Fla. where he owns a language school. “I get to make a statement.”

A maxim of American politics in the digital age is that anyone, even a no-name challenger launching a long-shot campaign, can raise gobs of cash if they have the right opponent, preferably one who inspires widespread scorn.

Tiffany Donnelly

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap