Center Files Brief at U.S. Supreme Court

Urges justices to take up free speech case

The Mackinac Center recently filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging justices to review a free speech case out of California.

At issue is Section 399b of the Public Broadcasting Act, which restricts core free speech by prohibiting public television stations from broadcasting paid advertisements, including issues of “public importance or interest.”

The brief was authored by the Southeastern Legal Foundation and was signed by several groups including the Mackinac Center, Citizens United, Atlantic Legal Foundation, Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, Reason Foundation, Individual Rights Foundation, Northwest Legal Foundation, Goldwater Institute, Center for Competitive Politics and Cause of Action.

Our brief argues that content-based restrictions on speech should be subjected to the highest standard of review and that the court should evaluate whether Section 399b’s speech restrictions should stand.

“Content-based restrictions on political speech strike at the heart of the Constitution,” says Shannon L. Goessling, executive director and chief legal counsel for Southeastern Legal Foundation. “To paraphrase a famous Supreme Court case, the answer to bad speech — or speech with which we disagree — is more speech, not enforced silence.”