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Freedom of Speech

Political Contribution Limits, Labor Unions, and Businesses - Podcast

Litigation and Free Speech & Election Law Practice Groups Podcast
James Manley March 26, 2015

The laws of six states prohibit businesses—but not unions or other groups—from contributing to political parties, committees, or candidates. On February 24, 2015, the Goldwater Institute filed suit on behalf of two family-owned Massachusetts businesses to challenge Massachusetts’ political contribution ban. Since 1908, businesses have faced a total contribution ban, but special rules implemented in 1988 allow unions to contribute as much as $15,000 before any disclosure requirements or other contribution limits apply to the union. After unions have donated $15,000 to campaigns, their PACs can continue to contribute up to the ordinary limits. Meanwhile, business-funded PACs are banned from contributing. Does the Massachusetts law violate state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection, free speech, and free association?

  • Jim Manley, Senior Attorney, Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, The Goldwater Institute

The “Hecklers’ Veto” - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Zuhdi Jasser, Nina Shea, Eugene Volokh March 13, 2015

Two American Muslim professors have been targeted by ISIS for criticizing the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has redoubled efforts to criminalize expressions of “Islamophobia” in Western nations. The most recent Intelligence Squared debate revealed heightened concern about restrictive speech codes on American campuses (e.g., the blacklisting of distinguished speakers who are labeled controversial by some people). What speech is, and what speech should be, protected in these and other contexts?

  • Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, Founder and President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
  • Nina Shea, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute
  • Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Danish Publisher: Charlie Hebdo and Free Speech in Europe and US - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Lars Hedegaard, Karen J. Lugo February 23, 2015

Lars Hedegaard was prosecuted under the European “incitement to hate” law all the way up to the Danish Supreme Court. Upon a full court re-hearing he was unanimously acquitted of intending his comments for public dissemination. He then survived a terrorist assassination attempt. Mr. Hedegaard will discuss why he has devoted so much to the cause of free speech and his deep belief that robust speech is vital to the survival of Western civilization. He assessed the long-term prospects for reform of speech laws in Europe, post Charlie Hebdo, and commented on what the United States might learn from developments in Europe.

  • Lars Hedegaard, Founder, International Free Press Society
  • Interviewer: Karen J. Lugo, Member, Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Executive Committee

Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-5-15 featuring Erik Jaffe and Ed Whelan
Erik S. Jaffe, M. Edward Whelan III February 05, 2015

On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar. This case asks whether a rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment.

To discuss the case, we have Ed Whelan who is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Erik Jaffe, who is a sole practitioner at Erik S. Jaffe, PC.

A Sign of Things to Come?: Reed v. Town of Gilbert - Podcast

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
Hans A. von Spakovsky January 13, 2015

On January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Reed v. Town of Gilbert. The Town of Gilbert has a sign code that imposes limits on the size, location, number, and duration of the signs advertising the weekly services of the Good News Community Church, whose pastor, Clyde Reed, sued. The sign code does not impose the same restrictions on political, ideological, and homeowners’ association signs. Does the First Amendment rule against content discrimination require a plaintiff to prove intentional discrimination by a government entity? Does the Town of Gilbert's assertion that its sign code lacks a discriminatory motive render its facially content-based sign code content-neutral and justify the code's differential treatment of religious signs?

  • Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation