The government and courts have been eroding the First Amendment "down the slope of a mountain of questionable logic and faulty premises" with campaign finance laws, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Reason Foundation, the Cato Institute, Center for Competitive Politics, Claremont Institute, Goldwater Institute, and Institute for Justice. Eric S. Jaffe, the brief's author, writes, "It seems that it is now the regulation of speech, not its protection, that has its 'fullest and most urgent application' where speech has any attenuated relation to an election. Proximity to an election, however, is neither a sufficient reason to stifle grass-roots lobbying ninety days a year, nor reason to prevent grass-roots lobbying overcertain media...Constraining effective grass-roots lobbying also will shift power and influence to incumbents, who have far better alternatives to get out their message in the context of pushing legislative agendas and garnering free media attention. That shift gets things precisely backward, with incumbent representatives able to lobby the public through the mass media, but the public unable to organize and lobby the incumbents through the same means." Reason's brief in the case of Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission is available here:
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Reason Foundation Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Campaign Finance, Free Speech Case
- Amicus Brief, PDF, 223.1 KB