The Federalist Society

A Glimpse of the Future? Campaign Finance Laws and Governmental Regulation of the Press

June 3, 2007

William R. Maurer

In April 2007, the Washington Supreme Court issued an important decision for the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and of the press in the face of burdensome campaign finance regulations. In a unanimous decision, the court used the “media exemption” in Washington’s campaign finance laws to strike down an eff ort by four Washington municipalities to force an initiative campaign to disclose on-air commentary by two talk-radio hosts as “in-kind” contributions by their radio station. The court held that the media exemption protects the press’s unique role of providing information and editorial commentary to the public....

A Glimpse of the Future? Campaign Finance Laws and Government Regulation of the Press  


The Federalist Society