Nothing is too small to escape the attention of the Speech Police. Matthew LaCorte is a recent high school graduate in the Borough of Woodland Park, New Jersey, who is going to college this fall. Matt is a member of Young Americans for Liberty and a Ron Paul supporter. He wanted to show that support […]

Readers of Make No Law are used to hearing stories about how the courts can be used to protect First Amendment rights.  Less well known is that courts can be abused to attack First Amendment rights.  That’s what happened in 2008 when a Texas developer named H. Walker Royall brought a defamation lawsuit against journalist […]

Motivated by the recent scandals involving Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., The New Republic has a fascinating short article titled “How Campaign Finance Laws Made the British Press So Powerful.” In a nutshell, the article explains how Britain’s stringent campaign finance laws have pushed political influence to the one outlet that is largely unregulated: newspapers.   […]

My colleague Paul Sherman has a post on The Hill’s “Congress Blog” discussing the recently reintroduced “Shareholder Protection Act,” which would require corporations to get advance shareholder approval before spending money on political speech. As Paul explains, the Act “has little to do with protecting shareholders and everything to do with silencing corporate speech”:   […]

The First Amendment protects anonymous speech.  This is especially true when that speech is controversial.  When a citizen comments on an issue, but fears retribution from those who disagree, it is that citizen’s right to be free from the government publicly “outing” her identity.  That’s something the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized, from the NAACP […]

Today, the Institute for Justice secured a significant first-round victory in its challenge to a Washington law that crippled the ability of political novices to run effective campaigns to recall government officials.   The case involves retired naval officer Robin Farris, who recently launched a recall campaign against controversial Pierce County, Washington Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam.  But […]

Today the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a major victory for First Amendment rights in Neighborhood Enterprises v. City of St. Louis. The decision strikes down a St. Louis sign ordinance that the City had tried to use to silence an anti-eminent-domain activist.   IJ filed the case on behalf of Jim […]

Over the holiday weekend, James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal had a great column discussing Justice Kagan’s dissent in last week’s decision striking down Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections” law. Here’s a snippet:   “The difficulty,” Kagan writes, “is in finding the Goldilocks solution–not too large, not too small, but just right.” Finding such solutions […]

Make No Law readers may recall that my colleague Steve Simpson and I recently had an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, discussing how comic-pundit Stephen Colbert’s experience setting up a “Super PAC” had unintentionally demonstrated how many burdens on political speech still remain in the wake of Citizens United.  In the video below, John […]

IJ’s victory last Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court in our challenge to Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections” law was a big win for people who believe that the First Amendment prohibits government from burdening spending on political speech. It was also a strong reaffirmation of the principle that “Individual freedom finds tangible expression in property […]