Loading
Pro-life group files suit to challenge broadcast ban, defend freedom of speech

.- In an effort to defend its freedom of speech and run an advertising campaign as a grass-roots organization, Wisconsin Right to Life (WRL) filed suit yesterday against the Federal Election Commission in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The suit requests an injunction to allow WRL to run anti-filibuster grass-roots lobbying ads into a broadcast ban blackout period.

The WRL ad campaign in question asks citizens to contact Senators Russell Feingold and Herbert Kohl and to urge them to oppose the filibustering of President Bush's judicial nominees.

However, under the provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, more commonly known as McCain-Feingold, WRL is prohibited from airing its media campaign, because it names Sen. Feingold - who is running for re-election - within 30 days prior to the primary election on Sept. 14 and then within 60 days prior to the general election.

However, WRL can mention Sen. Kohl since his name is not on the ballot. The campaign began with radio ads July 26. TV ads are slated to start next week.

This year's election will be the first test of the provisions of McCain-Feingold, which was enacted in March 2002. Numerous organizations, in addition to WRL, have expressed opposition to this broadcast ad ban, including the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Right to Life Committee.

In December 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the broadcast ban. The Court, however, left open claims that the broadcast ban would be unconstitutional as applied to certain types of ads. WRL is the first organization in the country to file suit in federal court, claiming that the broadcast ban is unconstitutional as applied to grass-roots lobbying advertisements.

"Now is the time for organizations like Wisconsin Right to Life to challenge a law that we believe infringes on United States citizens' First Amendment right of freedom of speech," said Barbara Lyons, executive director of WRL. "The broadcast ban wrongly restricts citizens' ability to learn about and influence on an upcoming vote in Congress."

"The McCain-Feingold law drastically reduces the influence of the citizen of average means because the association of like-minded individuals is essential to effective participation in the public arena," said James Bopp Jr., who filed the suit on WRL's behalf.

"With the little guys locked in the dungeon of nonparticipation, the rich and powerful will run politics, much as they did before the adoption of the first and foremost campaign reform, the First Amendment," he said. "The First Amendment protects the right of citizens to influence those in power on the critical issues of the day through grass-roots lobbying."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Gospel
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

Saint
Date
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Homily
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: