The Institute for Justice scores one for free speech

The Institute for Justice just won an important battle in the fight for free speech. The case IJ took on in Colorado and won was particularly onerous, as IJ’s Bob Ewing explains at Big Government:

Karen Sampson and her Colorado neighbors just won a serious victory for liberty.

In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Colorado’s disclosure laws for grassroots political groups. This is a big deal. As the Associated Press put it, “The issue is ripe for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The federal appellate court held that Karen and her neighbors in the tiny subdivision of Parker North, Colo., should not have been forced to register with the government and comply with burdensome campaign finance laws simply for opposing a ballot issue involving the annexation of their neighborhood.

I wrote previously at Big Government that Karen and her neighbors opposed an effort to annex their town into a neighboring city because it would raise their taxes without providing them benefits. So they printed up fliers and yard signs. And then they got sued.

Under what basis? Colorado’s campaign finance laws, which state that any group of individuals that spends over $200 magically becomes an “issue committee” that is forced to register with the state. Further, they had to track and report all their “contributions” and “expenditures” and disclose the identities of anyone who gave them money.

As you’ll see in the videos that Bob includes in his post at Big Government Colorado’s campaign finance laws were so labrynthian that not one of the 255 people who were asked to fill out the forms to file as an issue committee with the state did so correctly.

To read more about this case, you can go to IJ’s website.

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