Fans of the Institute for Justice and MakeNoLaw.org should tune in tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET to Dr. Diana Hsieh’s live Internet radio show, Philosophy in Action.  My colleague Paul Sherman will be the guest, discussing campaign finance, the First Amendment, and the 2012 election.  Here’s more information on the show:   Many people support restrictions […]

My colleague Paul Sherman has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today making the case for why the U.S. Supreme Court should take up Bluman v. FEC, a First Amendment challenge to a federal law that prohibits noncitizens, even those who lawfully live and work in the United States, from spending any money in […]

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 […]

One of the more persistent myths of government campaign financing programs is that their purpose is to enhance First Amendment values. Justice Kagan made that claim on Monday when she said during the oral argument in the IJ/Goldwater challenge to Arizona’s system that with government financing, “it’s more speech all the way around.” The Huffington […]

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy of the Brennan Center has an article in The Hill in which she invokes Ronald Regan’s famous dictum “trust but verify” in support of more disclosure laws for those who spend money on political ads. It may seem overwrought to compare spending on political speech with nuclear arms races, but I suppose a […]

Republicans in Congress have responded to the apparent desire among voters for smaller government with a proposal to eliminate the public financing system for presidential elections. Our friends over at the Center for Competitive Politics present some very compelling reasons for ending the program. As they point out, doing so would save a minimum of […]

Politico reports that the FEC has denied a request from a wireless industry lobbying group to allow people to make small donations to candidates and parties via text messaging. Apparently, the FEC thought that donations in this manner might allow contributors to exceed the $50 limit on anonymous contributions and would violate the rules that […]

Wendy Kaminer has a terrific takedown in the Atlantic of the latest silliness emanating from campaign finance “reformers”: a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to regulate corporate political speech.   It’s hard to find a favorite passage from this article, because practically every sentence is a gem. But if I had to choose, […]

Say this much for Professor Randy Salzman’s call for a ban on 30 and 60-second political ads in the Christian Science Monitor: at least he’s honest.   We’ve made the point many times before that campaign finance laws will inevitably lead to censorship. If people cannot support their favored candidates in one way, they will […]

You know there is something too complex about campaign finance regulations when someone as smart as political entrepreneur Diana Hsieh runs into trouble in her dealings with the law.   Hsieh details some of the difficulties of complying with Colorado’s campaign finance laws for ballot issue committees on her blog. Hsieh, who is featured in […]