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.

The name change is fitting. It signifies a shift to from litigation on campaign-related speech to broader First Amendment principles. One example is the Institute’s fine amicus brief in support of my petition for a writ of certiorari in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. As readers of this blog know, the case involves a ban on all “political” apparel, campaign-related or not. The petition has been relisted twice, and might be taken up by the Court on Monday.

As the Institute’s brief points out:

[The Supreme Court] has found merit in preventing explicit campaigning in the polling place. But extending that principle to reach general statements of political belief unrelated to the ballot is unsupported by this Court’s precedents and cannot survive strict scrutiny. Doing so in order to prevent imagined violence infantilizes Americans, discounts a century of political progress, and encourages the development of a culture inimical to the free and unhindered exchange of views.

Congratulations again to my friends at the Institute for Free Speech.

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.

Continue reading “Does a photographer need a permit to take a picture in a park?”

What’s next for the Supreme Court?

The last Supreme Court term ended in June with two huge victories for free speech. The next term might bring more of the same.

This fall, the justices will decide whether to hear a free speech case that could have major ramifications for voters across the country. In Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, I represent Minnesota voters in their First Amendment challenge to a government-imposed dress code at polling places in the North Star State.

Continue reading “What’s next for the Supreme Court?”