George F. Will: People should be free to organize politically

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Arizona's law says that whenever two or more people collaborate, using at least $250, to influence voters about anything, they instantly become a "political committee," a magical transformation that triggers various requirements — registering with the government, filling out forms, and establishing a bank account for the "committee" even if it has no intention of raising money. All this must be done before members of the "committee" are permitted to speak. Galassini got no response when she wrote to the clerk to find out if she could have permission to email the 23 persons to tell them the demonstrations were canceled.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona supported Galassini. It had to, given that Citizens United said laws requiring official permission to speak "function as the equivalent of prior restraint by giving the [government] power analogous to licensing laws implemented in 16th- and 17th-century England, laws and governmental practices of the sort that the First Amendment was drawn to prohibit."

Liberals who love the regulatory state loathe Citizens United. You can understand why.

George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

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