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Wisconsin Right to Life Asks U.S. Supreme Court for Expedited Review of Grassroots Lobbying Case

Contact: Barbara Lyons, Executive Director, Wisconsin Right to Life, 414-778-5780, wrtl@wrtl.org; James Bopp, Jr. Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, 812-232-2434, 812-243-0825 cell, jboppjr@aol.com


MILWAUKEE, Wisc., Jan. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- As expected, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has appealed the district court's decision that the ban on corporate electioneering communications is unconstitutional as applied to grassroots lobbying ads for which Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL) sought judicial relief in 2004. As a result, on Friday, December 29, 2006, WRTL asked the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite consideration of the FEC's appeal.


The FEC filed their notice of appeal on December 28 and the intervenors, who include the principle sponsors of the McCain-Feingold law, filed their notice of appeal the following day.


Congress provided that appeal of suits arising under the provisions of the McCain-Feingold law are brought directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they are to be advanced on the docket and expedited to the greatest possible extent.


"If the Court decides to take the FEC's appeal in the case, it would be desirable to have that decision this term, well before the electioneering communication prohibition period begins in December of 2007," said James Bopp, Jr., attorney for WRTL.


The first presidential caucus of the 2008 presidential election is Iowa's Democratic caucus, which is scheduled to begin on January 14, 2008. "If this appeal is not considered at the Court's January 19th conference, it is unlikely that it will be heard this term," said Bopp.


Without clear direction from this Court as to the constitutional application of the electioneering communication prohibition to grassroots lobbying ads before the blackout periods begin again, would-be speakers will be forced to file emergency actions seeking relief to allow them to air their ads, or, worse, they will be forced to forgo the opportunity to petition their government and decide to be silent rather than risk an enforcement action," said Bopp.


WRTL's motion to expedite is available on the James Madision Center for Free Speech website


Wisconsin Right to Life believes that each human life is inherently valuable from fertilization to natural death. Our mission is: "To make euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and destruction of human embryos socially, ethically and legally unacceptable solutions to human problems and to promote positive alternatives to each of these acts."