Recent blog posts
Today, six judicial candidates joined the James Madison Center for Free Speech in filing an amicus brief asking the United States Supreme Court to strike down Florida’s personal solicitation ban, citing the First Amendment’s political speech protections as grounds. Last month, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review a Florida Supreme Court decision that upheld Florida’s personal solicitation clause. The clause prohibits judicial candidates from making any personal solicitations for
Last Friday, a bipartisan coalition of candidates, business people, and others asked a federal court to reverse its 2009 decision upholding New York City’s campaign finance laws which unfairly reduced the contribution limits for the business community to just one-tenth of what everyone else is allowed to contribute, make their contributions unmatchable under the City’s public funding scheme, and ban contributions from LLCs, LLPs and partnerships. These laws favor labor unions,
Vermont’s campaign-finance law, that requires a lobby group to be a PAC if it engages in over $1,000 in issue advocacy and that imposed contribution limits on Vermont “superpacs,” was appealed Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court. The challenge is brought by Vermont Right to Life Committee, Inc. (“VRLC”), and Vermont Right to Life Committee – Fund for Independent Political Expenditures (“VRLC-FIPE”). VRLC, a 501(c)(4) lobby and issue advocacy group, seeks
Today, Montanans for Community Development (“MCD”) asked a Montana federal court to prohibit the Commissioner of Political Practices and other state officials from enforcing unclear campaign finance laws and prevent those officials from investigating violations until constitutionally adequate protections are in place for those accused of violating such laws. MCD is a 501(c)(4) corporation that wants to promote and educate Montanans about opportunities for economic development in the state. It wants
On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held unconstitutional California’s requirement that ballot initiative petition forms identify the official initiative proponents. This follows court opinions allowing anonymity at the point of petition circulation. For example, a prior case held that government could not make petition circulators wear name tags because that risked chilling speech. The case is important, among other things, for reasserting that government may
On Friday, the Ninth Circuit federal appellate court ruled that Arizona judicial canons that restrict the ability of judicial candidates to engage in ordinary political activities as part of their campaigns are unconstitutional. The plaintiff in the case, Randolph Wolfson, is a resident of Golden Valley, Arizona, and was a candidate for Superior Court Judge in Mohave County in the 2008 election. Elections for state court judges in Arizona are partisan.
Today the Republican National Committee filed its opening brief in McCutcheon v. FEC in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, brought by the Republican National Committee and Shaun McCutcheon, challenges the federal biennial, individual aggregate limits on contributions to candidates and national political party committees (such as RNC). These aggregate limits restrict how much an individual may spend on political contributions over a two-year election cycle, even though the contributions are
Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted full review of McCutcheon v. FEC. The case, brought by Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, challenges the biennial individual aggregate limits on contributions to candidates and national political party committees (such as RNC). Under these biennial expenditure limits, even though a contributor can give up to $2,600 per election to a candidate, a contributor may only give $48,600 to all federal candidates in a two year election
PRESS RELEASE March 27, 2012 Contact: James Bopp, Jr. Cell Phone 812/243-0825; Phone 812/232-2434; Fax 812/235-3685; jboppjr@aol.com Today three corporations asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Montana Supreme Court’s holding that corporations in Montana may be banned from making independent political expenditures by expressly advocate the election or defeat of state candidates. In the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment
PRESS RELEASE  Tuesday, March 20, 2012 Contact: James Bopp, Jr. Phone 812/232-2434; Fax 812/235-3685; jboppjr@aol.com In 2007, New York City created a blacklist. It singled out nearly 12,000 of its most prominent citizens and said that they were the most likely to try to bribe politicians with campaign contributions. So the City published their names on the Internet for everybody to see and reduced the amount of contributions they can make
Thursday, October 13, 2011 A group of plaintiffs has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New Mexico’s new campaign finance laws. The lawsuit alleges that the new limits on contributions to political parties and from political parties to their candidates, as well as the new limits on contributions to committees that spend money independently of any candidate, are unconstitutional. Political parties in New Mexico used to be able to accept
For the second time in as many years, a federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that a Wisconsin campaign finance law unconstitutional. On September 14, the court ruled that Charles G. Hatchett, a resident of Whitewater, cannot be made to register with the state and include a disclaimer on post cards and flyers urging his fellow residents to vote against a referendum. Mr. Hatchett filed suit in March, 2010, arguing that
Last Friday, North Carolina Right to Life’s independent expenditures committees filed a federal suit in North Carolina against the state’s matching funding scheme as an unconstitutional infringement on their First Amendment free speech rights. North Carolina’s Public Campaign Finance Fund provides state supreme court candidates with the option to receive public funding if they agree to limit how much money they raise and spend on their campaigns. The Fund’s matching fund
Late Tuesday a federal district court in New Mexico declared unconstitutional a provision of Albuquerque’s system of public funding for elections that provides taxpayer funding to legislative candidates based on opposition speech. Albuquerque’s Open and Ethical Election Code provides taxpayer funding for Albuquerque city council and mayoral candidates who agree to limit how much money they raise and spend on their campaigns. Under the scheme, city council candidates receive $1 for
Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Today, a federal appellate court in Richmond, Virginia, gave new life to a candidate’s efforts to vindicate his constitutional rights. In August 2010, a lower court ruled that Herb Lux, who sought to run for Congress in the 2010 general election, did not have a constitutional right to personally collect signatures in furtherance of his own candidacy. Today, an appeals court held that the lower court must
Thursday, June 30, 2011. On Wednesday, a citizen coalition led by Protect Marriage Washington asked a federal court to prevent Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed from publishing the names and addresses of thousands of citizens who signed a controversial referendum petition in 2009. Approximately 138,000 Washingtonians signed a petition in 2009 to repeal a law that gave same-sex partners all the legal rights of married couples. The petition was successful
Today the United States Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an Arizona system of public funding of elections because it gave money to candidates based on the First Amendment speech of others.  The Arizona Clean Elections Act, passed in 1998, provides taxpayer funding for any Arizona statewide candidates who agree to limit how much money they raise and spend on their campaigns. Under the scheme, Arizona’s gubernatorial candidates receive $638,222.50, plus additional “matching
New Mexico Turn Around, a free market oriented advocacy organization, filed suit in federal court on Friday against Albuquerque’s public funding scheme for city council candidates, asserting it is an unconstitutional infringement of their First Amendment free speech rights. Albuquerque’s Open and Ethical Election Code provides taxpayer funding for Albuquerque city council and mayoral candidates who agree to limit how much money they raise and spend on their campaigns. Under the
Last Friday, the Republican Super PAC (RSPAC) submitted comments on the advisory opinion request of Majority PAC and House Majority PAC. On May 19, the two Democratic PACs asked the Federal Election Commission for an advisory opinion approving their plan to receive lawful federal contributions solicited by federal candidates, officeholders, and national political party officials. In its comments, RSPAC explained why the PACs’ planned activities are legal. The so-called super PACs
PRESS RELEASE Tuesday, March 4, 2011 Contact: James Bopp, Jr. Phone: 812/232-2434; Fax: 812/235-3685; jboppjr@aol.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE As detailed here, on Wednesday, a federal court heard oral argument on Wisconsin Right to Life PAC’s request to enjoin Wisconsin’s rescue funds for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court candidates. Says Jim Bopp, counsel for WRTL, “the rescue funds, which give an opposing candidate money based on what individuals and groups like WRTL spend, discourages


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