The Institute for Free Speech today published a first-of-its-kind survey of campaign speech regulations and grassroots lobbying laws that implicate First Amendment freedoms.
The survey looks at state laws in twelve distinct policy areas, ranging from electioneering communications statutes to disclaimer rules to false statement laws. These statutes all have the potential effect of chilling speech and association.
“States regulate speech about government through a labyrinth of laws that often make it nearly impossible for average citizens to participate,” said Institute for Free Speech Senior Fellow and survey author Eric Wang.” This document is the first of its kind to attempt to pierce that veil. Would-be speakers will now at least be aware of the pitfalls they face.”
By illuminating the many ways states regulate activity related to speech and association, the Institute for Free Speech hopes to give policymakers a guide to the obstacles facing First Amendment-friendly policies.
“We hope this survey will be a useful resource for public policy advocates, litigators, and legislators,” said IFS Research Director Scott Blackburn.” When defending your First Amendment rights, the first step is knowing the current state of the law.”
To read the introduction to the survey, click here. To receive the full survey, please fill out the brief form at the bottom of the page.