First Amendment

Neutral Principles and Some Campaign Finance Problems

In this William and Mary Law Review article by John O. McGinnis, the author discusses both positive and normative objectives in regards to regulating matters of campaign finance. As a positive matter, the article shows that the Roberts Court’s campaign finance regulation jurisprudence can be best explained as a systematic effort to integrate that case law […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, John O. McGinnis, The Roberts Court, William and Mary Law Review, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus and the (Bleak) Future of Statutes that Ban False Statements in Political Campaigns

In this University of Pennsylvania Law Review article, author Margaret H. Zhang assesses the constitutionality of state false statement law statutes in the wake of recent court decisions. As Zhang explains, today’s political candidates must be prepared for mudslinging targeted not just at their professional lives, but also at their private lives, appearance, genealogy, religion, […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, SBA List v. Driehaus, False Statement Laws, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Compulsory Donor Disclosure: When Government Monitors Its Citizens

In this Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum by CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, Research Fellow Scott Blackburn, and Policy Analyst Luke Wachob, the authors explain how political speech in America is subject to an ever expanding disclosure regime as more and more private information – including citizens’ names, home addresses, employers, and occupations, as well as […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Featured Content, First Amendment, Independent Speech, IRS and the Tea Party, Research, Dark Money, Heritage Foundation, Private Giving, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, California, Montana, New York, Wisconsin

Are Corporations People?

This National Affairs essay by Carson Holloway examines the vocal claims by some that “corporations are not people.” As Holloway explains, progressives, ranging from ordinary protestors all the way to President Obama, have insisted that, because corporations are not living, breathing human beings, corporate personhood — the idea that corporations have certain legal and constitutional rights — is a […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Carson Holloway, Corporate Personhood, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

The Victims of “Dark Money” Disclosure: How Government Reporting Requirements Suppress Speech and Limit Charitable Giving

In this Goldwater Institute Policy Report, author Jon Riches highlights the coordinated attack on private political speech under the banner of “dark money” and its dangerous effect on nonprofit organizations. As the report explains, anonymous political speech has been essential to democratic discourse since the founding of our republic. Indeed, ratification of the U.S. Constitution […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Handouts, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, 501(c)(3)s, Dark Money, Goldwater Institute, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Arizona, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin

Five Misconceptions about “Dark Money”

“Dark money” is a pejorative term for spending on ads urging the election or defeat of candidates by nonprofit groups – typically 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, 501(c)(5) labor unions, and 501(c)(6) trade associations – that do not report the names and addresses of their individual donors to the government, unless donations are earmarked to fund […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Disclosure, Handouts (Disclosure), Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Eternal Inconsistency: The Stunning Variability in, and Expedient Motives Behind the Tax Regulation of Nonprofit Advocacy Groups

In this study, California election law attorney Allison Hayward analyzes the historical roots of the IRS’s recent scandals, and discusses how: The IRS scandal is just the latest in a series of clashes between the agency and nonprofit advocacy groups. Congress writes tax law to address short-term political goals, often ignoring long-term problems. Laws governing […]

Filed Under: Blog, Enforcement, First Amendment, IRS, IRS and the Tea Party, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, 1954 Revenue Act, Allison Hayward, Nonprofit Advocacy, Revenue Act of 1934, Social Welfare, Tax Exemptions, Enforcement, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Enforcement, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation

In Defense of Private Civic Engagement: Why the Assault on “Dark Money” Threatens Free Speech and How to Stop the Assault

In this Heartland Institute Policy Study, author Nick Dranias explains that the right to private civic engagement — the right to participate in politics confidentially as an individual or in association with others — is under assault as the product of “dark money.” However, Dranias notes that this attack on “dark money” is really an […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Free Speech Privacy Act, Nick Dranias, Publius Confidentiality Act, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech

The Udall Amendment: A Briefing Book

Senator Tom Udall’s (NM) S.J. Res. 19 would revoke nearly four decades of campaign finance jurisprudence from the Supreme Court and greatly reduce the quantity (and likely quality) of debate in this country. As written, the amendment could be read in myriad ways and fundamentally miscomprehends the free press clause. It is a rhetorical document […]

Filed Under: Amending Comments, Amending the Constitution, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Udall Amemdnent, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Overwhelmingly Opposed: An Analysis of Public and 955 Organization, Expert, and Public Official Comments on the IRS’s 501(c)(4) Rulemaking

Overwhelmingly Opposed An Analysis of Public and 955 Organization, Expert, and Public Official Comments on the IRS’s 501(c)(4) Rulemaking By Matt Nese and Kelsey Drapkin Less than seven months after news broke that the Internal Revenue Service had been singling out conservative-leaning groups’ applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status for higher scrutiny, the Service proposed new […]

Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, IRS, IRS and the Tea Party, Issue Advocacy, Issues, Research, 501(c)(4)'s, IRS Rulemaking, Kelsey Drapkin, Matt Nese, NonprofitFreedom.org, Speech Police, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy