On Monday, the Institute for Justice won another victory for free speech in the case Sampson v. Buescher. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Colorado’s registration and disclosure requirements for grassroots activists.
Karen Sampson and her neighbors in Parker North, Colorado, had organized to oppose the annexation of their neighborhood, and for that they got sued. That’s because whenever two or more citizens organize and spend more than $200 to speak about a ballot issue, the Colorado requires them to register as an “issue committee” and track their political expenditures. The requirements can rival the tax code in complexity. Because Sampson and her neighbors had failed to register, they were sued by groups that supported the ballot initiative. But the court on Monday struck the regulations down as an infringement on Coloradans free speech rights.
So, Coloradans, you can now talk about ballot issues without fear of getting thrown into jail.