Remarks on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear MVA v. Mansky

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided to hear Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, which involves a First Amendment challenge to Minnesota’s broad ban on political apparel (including shirts featuring the logo of the Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, or other non-partisan organizations that one might associate with a political viewpoint). You can read more about the case on CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Huffington Post.

As lead attorney for the petitioners, I delivered some remarks to reporters at Minnesota Voter Alliance’s press conference this morning in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here is a transcript of the speech:

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Democracy and disgust

Imagine a system that forced you to contribute $100 to the political campaign of the winner of each election. In 2016, you’d be compelled to donate to Trump; in 2008, to Obama; in 2000, to Bush.

You’d probably be offended. You might object to the fact that the program gives money to candidates with views that you find disagreeable. Why should a law force you to give money to Democrats if you’re a Republican and vice versa? In First Amendment terms, you’d say the law improperly discriminates on the basis of viewpoint.

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What happened to the Center for Competitive Politics?

The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government through strategic litigation, communication, activism, training, research, and education. The Center of Competitive Politics is no more; the organization is now the Institute for Free Speech.

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Does a photographer need a permit to take a picture in a park?

Josephine Havlak is a St. Louis-based photographer who has taken pictures for portraits, weddings, and events since 1979. Havlak takes pictures in several places, including a public park in the Village of Twin Oaks. The 11-acre park features a waterfall and a picturesque wood bridge spanning a creek.

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My speech to the Federalist Society at the University of Michigan Law School

Last Thursday, I spoke to the Federalist Society at the University of Michigan Law School about Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. In that case, we asked the Supreme Court to review a ban on political apparel (including shirts featuring the logo of the tea party, the Chamber of Commerce, and the AFL-CIO) at polling places across Minnesota. This morning, the Court relisted our petition.

Here is a transcript of my speech:

We’re lucky to be here in Ann Arbor. Across the country, thousands and thousands of Michigan fans are eager to watch the game this Saturday night between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans.

Put yourself in their shoes for a second. Imagine you’re in a place far away from here. Far away from Michigan Stadium. Maybe you’re at a bar in Chicago. Maybe you’re at home in New York. This Saturday night, you gaze intently at the television as the game is ready to start.

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