Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Association’
September 18th, 2012 at 12:52 pm
Breaking: CFIF Wins Historic First Amendment Court Victory
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This is why we do what we do, and why CFIF’s mission is important.

Today, in conjunction with the Hispanic Leadership Fund, CFIF secured a critical victory on behalf of the First Amendment rights to free speech and free association.  In a unanimous decision that arrived just four days following oral argument on the issue, a notably quick turnaround time when rulings typically arrive months later, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed, vacated and remanded a recent lower court decision infringing upon the right of the people to engage in protected speech and associate in privacy.  The case was initiated by Representative Chris Van Hollen (D – Maryland), who apparently never internalized the First Amendment’s explicit provision that, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Vindicating the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and Wisconsin Right to Life decisions, the Court of Appeals noted the muddled nature of campaign finance regulations generally:

After reviewing the record with care, we conclude that the District Court erred in holding that Congress spoke plainly when it enacted 2 U.S.C. § 434(f), thus foreclosing any regulatory construction of the statute by the FEC.  The statute is anything but clear, especially when viewed in the light of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), and FEC v. Wis. Right to Life, Inc. (“WRTL II”), 551 U.S. 449 (2007).”

This constitutes an enormous and welcome win for the freedoms of speech and association, one that all who value the First Amendment can celebrate.

June 11th, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Religious Liberty Under Fire
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While the media seems to have moved on from the firestorm over religious liberty that was kicked off by Obamacare’s contraception mandate earlier this year (a fight that is now making its way through the courts), the threat to freedom of conscience only continues to grow. In today’s DC Examiner, Tim Carney looks at some of the troubling developments throughout the nation:

Last week, New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the state government can force a wedding photographer to shoot a gay wedding, even though she holds the view that marriage is between one man and one woman — and even though New Mexico doesn’t perform same-sex marriages.

… Is a baby sitter still free to choose which families she’ll work for? Can a doctor still choose which procedures she’ll perform? Actually, a Michigan court has already answered that one, saying an in-vitro fertilization clinic violated a woman’s rights by refusing her IVF on the grounds of her being unmarried.

… This is how the culture war generally plays out these days: The Left uses government to force religious people and cultural conservatives to violate their consciences, and then cries “theocracy” when conservatives object.

One aspect of this fight that bears highlighting: one need not share the gay marriage or IVF views of the people targeted in these cases to understand the threat to fundamental freedoms. In fact, one need not even be religious.

At the heart of all of this is that government at all levels is increasingly trying to constrain freedom of association — the right to say “get lost and leave me alone.” And when the government takes away your right to say “no”, few other freedoms have any meaning.