First Amendment Victory in Florida


Last October I noted that a federal judge had suspended enforcement of an incredibly broad Florida law requiring any group that mentions a candidate or ballot measure in a newsletter or online to register with the state as an "electioneering communications organization," file regular spending reports, and disclose its donors. Responding to a lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice, U.S. District Judge Stephan Mickle noted that "no court has ever upheld such a sweeping regulation of political speech." Last week Mickle declined to break new ground in this area, ruling that the state legislature ""does not have the power to regulate purely political discussions about elections." The state plans to appeal.

I.J.'s press release is here

NEXT: Excuse Me, Ma'am, We've Had Reports of Prayer

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.


    I love IJ. Thanks for freeing me to blog about politics again!

  2. Good for IJ.

    And it’s nice to know the money I send them is doing some good so close to home. 🙂

  3. Isaac,

    Say, I think I’ll vote for Mark Rubio, and not George Hamiltonian Crist.

    Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking about candidates in Florida.

  4. I still don’t know why you people live there, on America’s big floppy dong.

  5. I edit a newsletter for a space advocacy club and last fall I posted interviews with the candidate’s positions on the space program. Sounds like if I’d been in Florida, this law would have affected me even though the newsletter doesn’t endorse any candidate. Idiocy.

  6. That’s candidates’ not candidate’s.

  7. Xeones,

    My part of Florida is a great place to live, the unfortunate shape of the state notwithstanding.


    I think everyone knew just how invalid this law was, so I imagine there wasn’t much attempt to enforce it.

  8. ProL, are you insulting George “Man With the Eternal Tan” Hamilton?

  9. Episiarch,

    Are you kidding? I would never do that! I was insulting Charlie Crist. He thinks he can achieve the Hamilton tan, but he’s wrong. Dead wrong.

  10. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking about candidates in Florida.

    I won’t get interested in Florida politics again until URKOBOLD announces his candidacy for Governor and makes moving the State Capital to Taintsville the first plank in his platform.

  11. Wasn’t there a campaign to move the capital to the Greater Taintsville Metropolitan Area back in the 60s/70s?

  12. Ah, the Anti-Crist. I’d vote for him.

    I got the idea from former Hit & Run token liberal joe, who said: “Crist’s hair is so gleaming white that his tan makes him look like a photo negative.”

  13. If I were a philanthropist, I don’t know who I would be first to fund, IJ or Reason.

  14. PL

    I didn’t arrive in Fla until 79. And I landed smack in the middle of the Conch Republic secession.

    I didn’t move to Central Florida til 81.

  15. So you’re pre-Tainted.

    I was a kid or not even a resident when the whole Orlando-as-capital thing was going on. We didn’t move to Tallahassee until 1970 (Tampa was in 1977).

  16. Actually, PL, my joke refers to the census designated place named Taintsville on County Road 419 between Oviedo and Chuluota in Seminole County. The last time I was out that way two deer ran across the road in front of me. Needless to say deer are nowhere to be found during hunting season (or, as I refer my forays into the woods at that time of year, armed hiking season).

    At one time it had its own Wikipedia page but for some reason it has been removed.

    BakedPenguin knows all about it.

    Frankly, I had no idea that there had ever been a movement to make O-town the state capital.

    I just like the idea of Taintsville as the seat of power.

  17. There’s a plaque in the new (70s) Capitol building in Tallahassee dedicating it to the efforts of some Orlando area legislator to get the capitAl moved down there, thus spurring the development of the present priapic monstrosity.

    Tallahassee, where America’s floppy dong reaches tentigo.

  18. Isaac,

    I’m familiar with Taintsville. That’s the corporate HQ of Urkobold Enterprises, LLC.

  19. I’m familiar with Taintsville. That’s the corporate HQ of Urkobold Enterprises, LLC.

    Sorry about that old man. I see I have misunderstood again.

    Which, of course explains why all my petitions for a patronage position in the new URKOBOLD Administration have gone unanswered. You know, those roads won’t pave themselves, you know.

    Ungrateful bastards. After all my kowtowing and grovelling you treat me like this. Well, Screw you (unless you have a job for me after all). 🙂

  20. Well, there’s an opening in the Disinformation department. Can you fake Executive Vice President?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.