First Amendment

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

State False Statement Laws: Should the Government Act as the Truth Police?

State False Statement Laws: Should the Government Act as the Truth Police? By Matt Nese and Brennan Mancil This Issue Review discusses the seventeen states that have adopted constitutionally vulnerable “false statement” laws that unwisely put government in the business of acting as the “truth police.” Such statutes cover general speech about a candidate or […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, SBA List v. Driehaus, Brennan Mancil, Center for Competitive Politics, False Statement Laws, Matt Nese, Ohio Elections Commission, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Amending the First Amendment: The Udall Proposal is Poorly Drafted, Intellectually Unserious, and Extremely Dangerous to Free Speech

The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon hold a hearing on S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment to restrict First Amendment rights proposed by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and sponsored by 41 other senators. Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they plan to bring the measure to a vote on the Senate floor. This analysis examines the […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits State, Contributions & Limits, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Handouts (Contribution Limits), Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Contribution Limits, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Contributions & Limits, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Publius was Not a PAC: Reconciling Anonymous Political Speech, the First Amendment, and Campaign Finance Disclosure

In this Wyoming Law Review article by Benjamin Barr and Stephen R. Klein, the authors emphasize the importance of anonymous political speech. As they explain, modern campaign finance law has eliminated many avenues for anonymous political speech in both federal and state arenas. Under today’s disclosure regimes, citizens who band together and spend as little […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Publius, The Federalist Papers, Disclosure, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation

The Last Rites of Public Campaign Financing?

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett, this Nebraska Law Review article by Hofstra University Law School Professor James J. Sample asserts the current predicament of public campaign financing is such that options that are still on the table under the Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence are, with […]

Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Arizona, Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, clean elections, First Amendment, James J. Sample, NYC, public financing, Supreme Court, tax financing, taxpayer financed campaigns, taxpayer-financed campaigns, First Amendment, First Amendment, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine

In Defense of ‘Super PACs’ and of the First Amendment

In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Brooklyn Law School Professor Joel Gora offers a defense of “Super PACs” and of the First Amendment principles that they embody; namely, that in order to make our democracy work, we need a robust, wide-open and uninhibited discussion of politics and government. Although Super PACs have gotten bad […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Research, Super PACs, Academic Advisory Board, ACLU, Brooklyn Law School, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, free speech, independent expenditure, independent speech, independent spending, Joel Gora, money in politics, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, super PACs, First Amendment, Independent Speech, First Amendment, Independent Speech