In an emergency appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has enjoined Florida’s unconstitutional system of campaign finance “matching funds.”  The ruling (.pdf) reverses a contrary decision—handed down only two weeks ago—by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle.   As we have previously described on this blog, matching-funds programs unconstitutionally discourage privately funded […]

CQ reports that more groups are taking advantage of the recent decisions in Citizens United and to set up independent speech groups for the upcoming elections. 

After the Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations and unions to engage in political speech in Citizens United, many pundits darkly warned that corporations could now “buy” elections.  These pundits necessarily relied on two assumptions: (1) voters are dolts whose votes can be “purchased” through advertising, without voters making any independent analysis of their […]

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted 57 to 41 on a procedural motion to end debate on the DISCLOSE Act.  Because such motions must get 60 votes in order to pass, the DISCLOSE Act is likely dead for the time being.    But the drum of censorship continues to beat on.  The Hill reports that […]

The debate on the DISCLOSE Act is coming to a head today.    Our friends at the Center for Competitive Politics reported that the Senate will vote today on whether to cut off debate on the Act.  It appears that the Senate leadership doesn’t have the sixty votes it needs to end the Republican filibuster […]

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Reed that people who sign a petition seeking to place a ballot measure before the voters do not have a general right to anonymity under the First Amendment.  The case concerned signers to a referendum— Referendum 71, to overturn Washington’s domestic partnership law.  The Supreme […]

In the next landmark case challenging campaign finance restrictions after the historic Citizens United decision, the Institute for Justice and the Center for Competitive Politics today filed a petition (.pdf) with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to review a case challenging federal laws that impose enormous burdens on grassroots groups that simply want to […]

The Center for Competitive Politics notes that very little has changed in the new version of the bill introduced by Senator Schumer.  Despite the removal of one special exemption for labor unions, the bill still “radically tilts the political playing field in favor of organized labor.”   The bill is still an attempt to stifle political speech that […]

Senator Charles Schumer, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, introduced S.3628, a new version of the DISCLOSE Act, in the United States Senate yesterday evening.  Early reports indicate that Schumer will be short-circuiting the committee process, which severely decreases the opportunity for debate and amendment on the 116-page bill.  Our friends at CCP, who […]

Advocates of campaign finance “reform” often claim that the laws they promote will “protect” democracy.  But, in reality,   the opposite is true:  rather than fostering the political debate that is essential to the democratic process, the increasingly bewildering thickets of campaign finance regulations set endless traps for ordinary citizens and make retaining high-priced lawyers a […]