free speech

Free Speech Writ LargeLast week, as I was writing about some of the ways the peoples’ voice is silenced, the St. Louis, Missouri police were busy silencing Gustavo Rendon by taking away his first amendment right to free speech.

Last month, Ohio state representative Jennifer Garrison announced a plan for what she inappropriately refers to as a “Ballot Integrity Act”. The proposal would require people who help initiative and referendum campaigns collect signatures, and the companies they work for, to go through an onerous and potentially expensive registration process before they could work on a petition campaign.The law would also allow voters’ signatures to be thrown out because of mistakes made by campaign workers.

The state of Florida has decided not to appeal a case in which a state law aimed at restricting ballot initiatives was struck down.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a Seattle law that prohibits engaging in speech, including petitioning,  near a “captive audience”. The ban governed activity in the Seattle Center, the area near the Space Needle.

Read the story from Ballot Access News

A committee advocating a growth measure in Morgan Hill, CA could be fined up to $5,000 for failing to put their name on a mailer that they sent to 7,800 residents.

Read the story from the Morgan Hill Times

Today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Arizona’s appeal on Brewer v Nader, (08-648).The high court has decided to let the decision stand nullifying the state residency requirement for petition circulators.

This case has a major impact for ballot initiative and referendum rights as well as third party candidates trying to get on the ballot.

Ballot Access News reported on the implications of the decision: