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Newsroom

Daily Media Links 10/16: Trump vs. the First Amendment, Google, Facebook putting an early mark on political advertising bills, and more…

CCP Over a Year Later, Coloradans Find out Exactly What was in Legislators’ Disclosure Bill By Alex Cordell In their rush to hurriedly pass this bill, legislators neglected to notice that the language in the measure accidentally triggered the same requirements for legislative and statewide candidates running in the 2018 election. Now, 30 days before […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 10/13: Massachusetts’ Top Court to Rule On Union Campaign Donation Loophole, Justice Holmes’s Free-Speech Lesson, and more…

In the News USA Today: China’s Internet censors know how to block Russian interference By Eric Wang China censors any agitators, foreign or domestic, on social media. Politically sensitive topics like Tibetan self-determination, the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, or resistance against the Communist Party are off-limits. Of course, the Great Firewall also completely blocks access to […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

USA Today: China’s Internet censors know how to block Russian interference (In the News)

By Eric Wang  
China censors any agitators, foreign or domestic, on social media. Politically sensitive topics like Tibetan self-determination, the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, or resistance against the Communist Party are off-limits. Of course, the Great Firewall also completely blocks access to Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of other websites. Through these measures, Chinese citizens can rest assured that they are free from foreign interference… 
Emulating China’s disregard for free speech may seem like mere satire for Americans. But is it? There is always risk for overstatement when resorting to “slippery slope” arguments. But recent calls to regulate online political speech by foreign interests directed at Americans seem to articulate no bounds. There is a real risk that a rush to regulate will threaten basic civil liberties…
Recent debates show the difficulty in blocking foreign nationals from speaking without also compromising Americans values. For example, consider immigration. Many of those publicly voicing support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy have been undocumented immigrants. Some of the most vociferous opponents of the Trump administration’s “travel ban” have been citizens of affected countries. Could we prevent these foreign nationals from speaking to American voters about these issues during election season, and would that not end up stifling part of the debate? 

Filed Under: Eric Wang, In the News, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 10/12: The Free-Speech Wars, Judge Won’t Let Feds Have Full Access to Names of People on Anti-Trump Site, and more…

Free Speech National Review: New College Student Survey: Yes, Speech Can Be Violence By David French Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for Yale’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, the survey queried 800 college students attending four-year private or public colleges, and the results were depressingly predictable. First, the “good” news. Students claim to love free […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 10/11: FEC asks for public comment on online ad disclosure rules, New rule on political spending takes effect, and more…

In the News Public Policy Legal Institute: Supreme Court Vacates Problematic Fourth Circuit Opinion Welcoming “Restraint” of Candidate Speech PPLI and the Center for Competitive Politics had filed “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court in Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, No. 16-1436. That case, commonly referred to as the “travel ban” […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Public Policy Legal Institute: Supreme Court Vacates Problematic Fourth Circuit Opinion Welcoming “Restraint” of Candidate Speech (In the News)

PPLI and the Center for Competitive Politics had filed “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court in Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, No. 16-1436. That case, commonly referred to as the “travel ban” cases, considered the President’s power to block certain aliens from entering the United States. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had blocked the Executive Order that imposed the ban, but did so by referring to candidate Donald Trump’s campaign statements. Unfortunately, the Fourth Circuit said:
“To the extent that our review chills campaign promises to condemn and exclude entire religious groups, we think that a welcome restraint.” Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, et al. v. Trump, et al., 857 F.3d 554, 600 (4th Cir. 2017), slip op. 68.
This “welcome restraint” doctrine conflicts with settled Supreme Court decisions protecting free speech on the campaign trail…
The two PPLI/CCP briefs first asked the Court to review the case, by granting certiorari, then, without taking a position on the merits, asked the Court to protect the First Amendment rights of candidates and those who want to hear their true opinions, by “vacating” (eliminating) the troublesome Fourth Circuit opinion.

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes CCP

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Public Confidence in the Election Process (Video) 

Legal challenges involving political campaigns or elections present some of the most difficult, high-profile, and time-sensitive matters to come before federal courts. They also may test the bounds of judicial independence and the appearance of impartiality. Their consequences are often far-reaching. A panel of three distinguished election law experts will participate in a conversation to help navigate through this thicket. They will discuss perennial issues arising in election law, such as the Voting Rights Act, redistricting, and the regulation of money in politics. They also will tackle several more recent hot topics, including voter fraud, voter suppression and protection, the regulation of micro-targeting, the Purcell principle (relating to court-ordered changes shortly before an election), the Electoral College, faithless electors, and foreign interference with U.S. elections.

Filed Under: Brad Smith, Broadcast, Video, Audio, In the News

The Hill: A lesson on abuse of power by Obama and his Senate allies (In the News)

By Bradley A. Smith
Republicans on Capitol Hill are outraged by the announcement that the Department of Justice would stick with the Obama administration decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner…
But congressional Republicans always set the bar both too high and too low when it came to the IRS’s actions. They set it too high in that they immediately declared that the scandal constituted criminal wrongdoing and too low by suggesting that the scandal hinged on a finding of criminal wrongdoing. The real problem was never one of a few rogue IRS employees engaging in criminality. Rather, the IRS scandal was about abuse of power by elected officials, who consciously sought to weaponize the IRS against their political adversaries…
In the end, Lerner is something of a sideshow. The real problems are first, the president and leaders in Congress should not use their power to pressure the bureaucracy to do their partisan bidding, and second, if you give government the tools to regulate political speech, the government will weaponize them for partisan gain by the party in power. No “criminal” behavior is necessary. That, and not the tea party, is what threatened democracy then and now. Too bad that’s not the IRS scandal Congress chose to focus on.

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 10/10: New TIGTA Report on “Inappropriate” Criteria for Evaluating Exemption Applications, The people paying for California political ads might be easier to identify under this new state law, and more…

In the News The Hill: A lesson on abuse of power by Obama and his Senate allies By Bradley A. Smith Republicans on Capitol Hill are outraged by the announcement that the Department of Justice would stick with the Obama administration decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner… But congressional Republicans always set the bar both […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

Daily Media Links 10/6: IRS Scrutiny Akin to Tea-Party Controversy Also Ensnared Some Left-Leaning Groups, Inspector General Says, Lawmakers weigh pushing Facebook, Twitter to share who buys political ads, and more…

Free Speech Washington Post: Emory University Open Expression Committee opinion on limited public forums By Eugene Volokh The opinion has no formal precedential value, as I understand it, but I suspect that in practice it will be quite influential. An excerpt: As we have explained in past opinions, Emory University is a private institution; therefore, […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links