In Forbes today, intellectual property (IP) attorney Howard Hogan highlights the importance of IP to…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Intellectual Property: Trump Administration Can Reverse Eight Years of Erosion Under Obama

In Forbes today, intellectual property (IP) attorney Howard Hogan highlights the importance of IP to the American economy (38% of GDP and 30% of jobs) and considers the opportunity for positive change under a Trump Administration after eight years of poor leadership under Barack Obama.

Hogan highlights the pernicious influence of Google during the past eight years, given its self-interest in weakening America's historic protection of IP rights and free-riding off of others' creations:

Arguably, no company has been more influential than Google in setting policy in America in recent years...  White House officials met with employees of Google or related companies 427 times - an average of more than once a week, while approximately 30 Google personnel have taken positions in the…[more]

January 23, 2017 • 03:43 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Home Press Room Van Hollen v. FEC: CFIF Files Motion to Preserve Core Speech and Association Rights in Federal Court
Van Hollen v. FEC: CFIF Files Motion to Preserve Core Speech and Association Rights in Federal Court Print
Friday, June 17 2011

Seeks Intervenor-Defendant Status in Chris Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Expanding on its extensive litigation history defending free speech and association rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) yesterday filed a motion to intervene as a defendant in Chris Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission, a case before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit, brought by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), seeks to compel the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to force certain nonprofit corporations and other groups to disclose all their donors if they engage in any “electioneering communications,” broadcast issue ads that refer to federal candidates and air in the weeks and months leading up to elections.  Van Hollen claims it is unlawful to disclose only donations made for the purpose of supporting such speech.

Following Congress’ refusal to pass the DISCLOSE Act, legislation sponsored by Van Hollen that sought to further restrict political speech through burdensome and chilling disclosure requirements, the Maryland Congressman now charges that the FEC’s 2007 rules regulating such speech are inconsistent with the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Act of 2001 (“McCain-Feingold”).  In other words, Van Hollen is trying to accomplish through the courts that which has already been rejected by the people’s representatives in Congress.  The U.S. Supreme Court has said that such disclosure is sufficiently burdensome to trigger First Amendment protection.

Van Hollen’s complaint specifically names CFIF and other similarly situated organizations that ran issue ads leading up to the 2010 midterm elections in full compliance with current FEC regulations.  However, because the organizations mentioned in the complaint were not named as defendants, they had no right to defend themselves or the regulation authorizing their activities.  When CFIF asked Van Hollen to allow it to defend itself, he refused, forcing CFIF to seek permission from the court.

“We take the plain language of the First Amendment seriously and we’re deeply opposed to governmental regulation of speech,” said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella.  “To the extent the FEC’s activities are permitted by existing Supreme Court precedent, the First Amendment demands that the Commission minimize the burdens it imposes on free speech and association. 

“CFIF is seeking to intervene as a defendant in this case to ensure its fundamental rights, and those of all who speak out on issues of public importance, are preserved,” Mazzella continued. “The FEC, in and of itself, has no stake, nor should it have, in defending the constitutional rights of organizations, or their donors, who would be most negatively affected by an adverse ruling.  Once accepted by the court as an intervenor, CFIF will vigorously defend its rights based on accepted constitutional protections and strong Supreme Court precedent."

CFIF is represented by Jan Witold Baran, Thomas W. Kirby, Caleb P. Burns and Andrew G. Woodson of Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC.

To read CFIF's Motion to Intervene, click here.

###

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was simultaneously a member of the House of Representatives, a U.S. Senator-elect and U.S. President-elect?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"In truth, we are on the cusp of a great experiment. For decades, conservatives, both traditional and pro-growth supply-siders, have preached that deregulation, reasonable and predictable Federal Reserve interest rates, reduced government, a radically simplified and pruned-back tax code, new incentives for investment, an open energy market, and a can-do psychological landscape that encourages entrepreneurship…[more]
 
 
—Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
 
Liberty Poll   

If ObamaCare repeal and replacement begin immediately, but take 2 to 3 years to fully implement, will you consider the promises of President Trump and the Republican Congress to be met?