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Court Loss a Loss for Free Speech

As you may have read in the papers today, a judge in Carson City ruled against Citizen Outreach in a lawsuit brought against us by the hyper-partisan Democrat Secretary of State Ross Miller. In essence, Miller is attempting to overturn a Supreme Court decision relating to the definition of “express advocacy.”

What this is really all about is an effort by Miller to force us – and two other conservative organizations, by the way – to disclose our donors publicly so liberals and the media can beat up on them, harass them (as they did in California over a gay marriage initiative), and intimidate them into not making future donations.

It is nothing short of an effort to chill free speech.

This particular decision yesterday was not unexpected. The judge had already ruled against us several months ago – without giving us the benefit of an actual trial, mind you. We had simply filed a motion requesting that he reconsider his decision, which he declined to do.

But this isn’t over. All this amounts to is being thrown out of a game for arguing a call by the umpire. It doesn’t mean the umpire was correct in his call; it just means his call stands. For now. I’m meeting with our attorney tomorrow to discuss our legal options. Will keep you posted.

But know this: If Miller gets away with infringing upon our free speech rights here, it’s only a matter of time before he starts going after everyone whose philosophical beliefs aren’t the same as his. There’s a very, very important principle at stake here. Wish us luck…