Political debate is at the core of the First Amendment, but too often politicians seek to regulate it for election campaigns. At the federal level, the Justices have been active in striking down overweening regulations on political expression. For the latest, see this year’s ruling in Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz.
But fewer skeptical eyes are on the 50 states, which is why it’s worth spending a few minutes to read a new report from the Institute for Free Speech. It’s an index of how state laws and regulations treat political committees, grass-roots advocacy, independent expenditures, and the like. The results aren’t partisan, and they’re probably not what you expect.