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  • First Amendment

    The DISCLOSE Act and the NRA: Some Bad News

    Just as opposition was building in the House to the unconstitutional and burdensome DISCLOSE Act, which is intended to help Democrats in the November election by stifling the political speech of corporations and many non-profit advocacy organizations (but not unions), the National Rifle Association has apparently sold out. Politico and others are … More

    The FTC Confuses Newspapers With Journalism as it Seeks New Media Tax

    Last week my wife and I bought a used car, the better to ferry our children between sports events. For this we went to the websites of nearby dealers, researched different cars online and, after settling on one vehicle, quickly called up its history–inspections it had passed, the fender bender … More

    A Loss for the FEC, A Victory for the First Amendment

    Yesterday, the federal district court for the District of Columbia issued an injunction against the Federal Election Commission in SpeechNow.org v. FEC. As a former Commissioner on the FEC, many people would probably be surprised to learn that I am almost always pleased when my former agency loses a case. … More

    Supreme Court Saves the Mojave Desert Cross – For Now

    The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday handed a defeat to activists and other litigants whose extreme views motivate them to try to eliminate from public life almost every symbol and expression of religion. By a slim 5-4 margin, the Court in Salazar v. Buono reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for … More

    Membership Doesn’t Have Its Privileges: Liberty on Trial in the Martinez Case

    Groucho Marx famously quipped to the Friar’s Club of Hollywood that he didn’t “want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”  On Monday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case where Groucho-like humility is nowhere in evidence. In CLS v. Martinez, … More

    Is Government-Subsidized News on the Way?

    Is the Federal Communications Commission building a case for government-subsidized news? It’s not hard to imagine that will be the outcome of the Commission’s “Future of Media” inquiry. The digital age has produced a “democratic shortfall,” according to one source cited in the inquiry’s public notice. Another scholar working on … More

    Restoring the First Amendment – One Case at a Time

    On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck another blow towards restoring every American’s First Amendment right to engage in political speech. In SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, the court applied the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United to throw out another pernicious portion of … More

    Imagine No God in Our Nation's Classrooms

    All high school math teacher Bradley Johnson wanted to do was honor our nation’s history and religious heritage the same way he always had. For twenty five years, a red, white and blue-striped banner adorned his classroom walls with national maxims such as “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under … More

    New Poll, New Result: Americans Support the First Amendment After All

    What a difference a question makes. A couple of weeks ago, we exposed the biased and misleading questions behind a widely-cited Washington Post poll, which supposedly found broad, bipartisan support for legislative limits on speech following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Citizens United case. The Center for Competitive … More

    WaPo Poll Misrepresents Citizen United Decision

    Continuing the wide-ranging assault on the Supreme Court’s First Amendment decision in the Citizens United case, The Washington Post claims that a poll the newspaper conducted in conjunction with ABC News shows that “Americans of both parties overwhelmingly oppose” the outcome. Cataloging the so-called “strong reservoir of bipartisan support,” the … More