Dark Money Debate: Is Anonymous Political Speech Protected By The First Amendment?

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Dark Money Debate: Is Anonymous Political Speech Protected By The First Amendment?
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Goldwater Institute says
Anonymous political speech has been a cherished principle since the earliest days of the American republic. The ability to speak anonymously—and to privately support others who speak on your behalf—has played a central role in historical milestones from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizen United, there has been a new outcry from some critics that the public deserves to know who seeks to influence elections by giving money to private political groups. Describing anonymous giving as “dark money,” these critics want new laws that compel independent groups to give the names and addresses of their donors to the government.

On Tuesday, April 28, four legal experts will debate whether this campaign against anonymous giving benefits or harms free speech and democratic participation. Starting at 7 p.m., the debate will held before a live audience at the Cronkite journalism school on Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus. The debate also will be broadcast on the Internet.

Attendance is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. So please make a reservation by contacting Jason Lloyd at jlloyd@goldwaterinstitute.org or (602) 633-8984.

Debaters: Kurt Altman, national policy adviser and general counsel, Goldwater Institute; Allen Dickerson, Legal Director, Center for Competitive Politics; Tom Irvine, legal expert on election law, ASU Alumni Law Group; Daniel Barr, First Amendment expert, Perkins Coie law firm

Moderator: Robert Robb, editorial board member, Arizona Republic


This debate is sponsored by the Goldwater Institute, a national policy organization that works daily to enhance and defend the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution. Thank you to the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation for its generous support of the debate.

Can’t attend? Watch the debate live on your computer or mobile device to livestream the event. A link will be provided soon.

This event has been made possible by a grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.
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By: Goldwater Institute

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