Minnesota: Suppression of Political Speech Amendment Defeated

Posted on May 6, 2014

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Last night, Amendment A5 to Senate File 2782 was proposed by state Representative Ryan Winkler (D-46A) and ultimately defeated by the Minnesota Legislature.  This amendment contained substantially similar language to the harmful, overreaching and vague language in House File 1944 and Senate File 1915, previously reported here, and would have had a chilling effect on freedom of speech and of association in Minnesota.

Amendment A5 would have imposed broad and vague disclosure requirements – requirements that must be met just for issue advocacy groups to participate in discussion on important issues of the day – that would have gone far beyond what the Supreme Court has ruled as constitutional and beyond the scope of federal regulations.

No organization or its members should have to submit to vague, broad government regulation to participate in or facilitate a meaningful discussion on the current issues or policies of the day.  The proposed Amendment A5 to Senate File 2782 blatantly targeted the free speech of issue advocacy groups and its members, like the National Rifle Association, and we have opposed it since its inception.

The defeat of Amendment A5 by hard working state legislators and advocates solidifies the commitment to providing Minnesotans with the ability to express their political beliefs without fear of retaliation from political opponents, or fear of overreaching government regulations and penalties.  The NRA strongly opposed this attempt to inhibit fundamental First Amendment rights and opposes any attempt by government to so broadly and vaguely regulate a meaningful discussion on important issues.  We will continue to stand guard and will attempt to thwart any further efforts to restrict political speech in Minnesota.

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