Campaigns/Elections

Outside Agitators Now Welcome in Oklahoma

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Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit overturned Oklahoma's ban on signature gathering by nonresidents for ballot initiative campaigns. Four circuits have now held that such laws violate the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. "The 10th Circuit correctly affirmed the fundamental right of Americans to travel from state to state to advocate for political change and protected the free and open political debate that is essential to American politics," says William Maurer, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. The court rejected the state's argument that banning signature gatherers from other states was a reasonable safeguard against fraud.

The text of the decision is here (PDF).

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