BELLEVUE, WA – The cause of free speech and grassroots political activism won a major victory with today’s 2-1 decision by a federal court in Washington, D.C. that strikes down much of the campaign finance law, said the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).
“The court ruling protects not only large organizations, but also grassroots interest groups,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “This is a great victory for the First Amendment.”
The three-judge panel ruled that new restrictions on political advertising by special interest groups are unconstitutional. It also struck down the ban on the use of large corporate or union contributions by political parties. Almost immediately after the measure was signed into law, it was challenged by a broad coalition of organizations representing both sides of the political spectrum. The ruling is certain to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This decision is especially good news for gun rights organizations, whose message had been directly threatened by this legislation,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “Had this law been upheld, it is conceivable that gun owners would have been among the first to be silenced during critical election cycles, thus depriving firearms owners of their First Amendment right to protect their Second Amendment right.”
Gottlieb said the court’s decision should “serve notice” to politicians who supported the measure, and especially its sponsors.
“No doubt,” Gottlieb observed, “this legislation was written and passed with the best of intentions, but good intentions are the stuff from which the road to Hell is paved. The court wisely recognized that you cannot legislate away the right of free speech, whether exercised by individuals, grassroots groups or large national organizations. This is especially true during political campaigns, when it is imperative that all interests be heard, whether you like the message or not.”