The First Amendment Prevails! FEC Scraps Plan to Regulate Online Speech

The First Amendment Prevails! FEC Scraps Plan to Regulate Online Speech

May 22, 2015

After massive public outcry, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has decided not to pursue proposed regulations of political activity, including speech, on the internet.

The FEC, currently controlled by Democrats and chaired by Commissioner Ann Ravel, had begun the rule making process for measures that would potentially require independent organizations, bloggers, activists, and others discussing politics online to disclose funding sources.  New blogs, videos, and publications would essentially have to be rubber-stamped by FEC bureaucrats. Experts contended this would be a major breach of the First Amendment and would have a chilling effect on online political discourse.

After opening the proposal to public comment, the FEC received over 5,000 messages from concerned citizens demanding the agency to back off. Much to our surprise, the FEC commissioners listened. Not only did the agency scrap the existing proposal, Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub even proposed a resolution barring the FEC from ever pursuing internet regulation in the future.

American Encore President Sean Noble offered the following comment:

“This is a huge victory for the First Amendment, which has been under almost perpetual assault by this government. There is something beautiful about the very organizations and people that would have been the targets of this speech regulation speaking out and demanding a redress of grievances… and prevailing in the end! It speaks to the power of the First Amendment and the importance of our eternal vigilance in protecting it from even the slightest restrictions.”

American Encore would like to thank any and all members of our community who took the time to submit a comment to the FEC demanding they respect the First Amendment. Our organization was proud to provide the resources for people to do so and will continue to do so in the future, as we can be sure those looking to silence political dissent will try again soon.

It's Time for an American Encore