By Gordon R. Friedman
A Multnomah County judge heard hours of what he said were “illuminating” arguments Tuesday for why new political campaign spending limits should be allowed or overturned.
Multnomah voters overwhelmingly approved new limits on campaign contributions last year. But the Oregon Supreme Court, citing the state constitution’s strong free speech protections, has largely said no, no, no…
Attorney Owen Yeates, representing the Taypayer Association of Oregon, countered: “It doesn’t matter if 89 or 99 percent of the voters agree to something if it tramples on the rights of voters and of speakers in the county,” he said.
“We have to protect the ability of people to make meaningful communications to the public. And here, that costs money,” said Yeates, of the Center for Competitive Politics, a Virginia-based group that has argued against campaign finance limits.
Bloch, the judge, promised to provide as a ruling “as quickly as I possibly can.” That’s expected to be before September 1, when the new campaign spending limits take effect.
He said his decision will likely not be the final one, given that both sides have indicated their openness to appeals.
By Alex Swoyer
Some of the world’s biggest tech companies pleaded with the Supreme Court this week to update decades-old precedent governing telephones, saying that cell-tracking technology threatens Americans’ most fundamental privacy rights…
Lower courts have split over whether data held by a third party is protected, and Selina MacLaren, an attorney for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said there’s a lot of excitement surrounding Carpenter’s case.
She said the case could even affect the way reporters go about their jobs.
“This type of surveillance threatens to reveal where journalists go and where their sources go,” she said.
David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, said he feared governments trying to monitor Americans engaged in other First Amendment activities such as freedom of association.
“In many respects, this is potentially a lot more serious than all the concern about the NSA telephone call records and where they’ve analyzed calls being made overseas and such, because this is tracking movements of U.S. citizens in the United States and the government being able to get that information without having to get a warrant,” said Mr. Keating.
People’s Pundit Daily: Big Tech Asks Supreme Court to Protect Cell Phone Location Data (In the News)
Big technology companies filed a brief late Monday night asking the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to protect people’s cell phone location data. The friend-of-the-court brief was submitted in the case of Carpenter v. United States, which will be argued in the fall…
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing Timothy Carpenter, a man who had months’ worth of cell phone location information handed over to police without a warrant.
In 2011, the government obtained from cell companies months’ worth of phone location records for suspects in a robbery investigation in Detroit, without getting a probable cause warrant. In the case of Mr. Carpenter, those records spanned 127 days and revealed 12,898 separate points of location data.
That’s an average of over 100 location points per day.
The ACLU is joined by 20 media organizations warning of a chilling effect resulting from easy law enforcement access to the location information of reporters and their sources. They are also joined by groups from every end of the political spectrum, including the Center for Competitive Politics, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Tea Party Patriots.
Filed Under: In the News
ACLU: Tech Firms Urge Supreme Court to Adapt Privacy Protections for ‘Realities of the Digital Era’ in Cell Phone Tracking Case (In the News)
A number of other friend-of-the-court briefs were filed Monday. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 19 other media organizations, filing in support of the ACLU’s client, warned of the chilling effect on First Amendment freedoms that can result from easy law enforcement access to the location information of reporters and their sources. The Center for Competitive Politics, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and Tea Party Patriots discussed the implications of warrantless government access to cell phone location information for people exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and association…
The Knight First Amendment Institute wrote on behalf of 19 technology experts to highlight the increasing precision of cell phone location data and the highly sensitive information about people’s lives that the data can reveal…
“The number and variety of organizations and experts filing represent the widespread recognition that your cell phone’s location history is your own business, and the government needs to have a good reason to get its hands on it,” said ACLU attorney Nathan Freed Wessler.
Filed Under: In the News
The Supreme Court case Carpenter v. US has important implications for the First Amendment Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) and four other organizations from across the ideological spectrum filed a brief Monday in support of the plaintiff in Carpenter v. United States, a case challenging warrantless collection of cell phone location […]
Filed Under: Blog, Newsroom, Press Releases, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Carpenter v. United States, Center for Media Justice, Color Of Change, Free Association, Supreme Court, Tea Party Patriots, Warrantless Surveillance
Oregon Public Broadcasting: Is Multnomah County’s Political Contribution Cap Constitutional? (In the News)
By Jeff Mapes
The stakes go well beyond Multnomah County. Both sides say it could activate statewide contribution limits that were passed by Oregon voters 11 years ago.
“This case could bring to life the 2006 measure that the Supreme Court so far has said is just dormant,” said Greg Chaimov, a former chief lawyer for the state Legislature who is representing several business groups challenging the Multnomah County limits.
In addition, the Virginia-based Center for Competitive Politics is seeking to intervene in the Multnomah County case. The group participates in legal cases around the country fighting restrictions on political spending…
Owen Yeates, an attorney for the Center for Competitive Politics, said the Multnomah case is “one of the first few challenges” in the courts trying to “push Citizens United the other way.”
He said a major reason his group is seeking to intervene in the Multnomah County case is to make sure that “U.S. Supreme Court protections for independent speech remains strong.”