D.C. District Court Protects Grassroots Advocates

Last year Reason joined several other groups led by the Center for Competitive Politics to file amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in the case of Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission. Basically the case affirmed the right of grassroots groups to speak about election issues near elecitons, despite government’s efforts to ban them. Our amicus brief here. More on the DC. District Court decision here. 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.” See the rest of this post if you want to read the press release from CCP.