Wyoming Liberty Group
UPDATE (3:30 PM): We have received word that Judge Skavdahl has considered and signed the proposed order. Effective immediately, “Defendant City of Cheyenne is enjoined from enforcing the provisions of Article 6.5 and Section 1.3.3 of the Cheyenne Unified Development Code, as those provisions pertain to signs relating to a candidate, issue, proposition, ordinance or other matter to be voted upon by the electors of the city or as those provisions pertain to signs conveying a philosophical, religious, political, charitable or other similar noncommercial message within the City of Cheyenne.”
Last week, Dinesh D’Souza, a provocative conservative author and anti-Obama filmmaker, was indicted for using straw donors to channel money to a Senate candidate. Under federal law, individuals may give a maximum of $2,600 per candidate per election. Schemes to contribute beyond that amount through straw men or other indirect means are illegal. In Mr. D’Souza’s case, that meant contributing some $20,000 through friends.
You may have heard recently about a lawsuit brought by Cheyenne resident Ron Williams against the city for limiting the number of political signs he can put on his lawn and setting a timeframe within which he can display those signs. You might also think “what’s the big deal?” Indeed, I’ve heard from a few fellow residents that political signs aren’t important enough to sue over, that neighborhood aesthetics are more important than political signs, and that there are other ways for Ron to speak out. As one of Williams’s attorneys in the case, allow me to answer these criticisms.
This month marks the fourth anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC. It also marks the filing of our motion for preliminary injunctive relief in our lawsuit against Cheyenne. While the dots may be hard to connect, there is a good deal of overlap between both cases and the import of the First Amendment.
CHEYENNE – Wyoming Liberty Group attorneys filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the federal district court in Cheyenne today, seeking immediate relief for Ron Williams in his case against the City of Cheyenne over political sign restrictions.
“If the court grants a preliminary injunction, it would prevent the City of Cheyenne from enforcing the unconstitutional time and quantity sign restrictions in the Unified Development Code until the case is resolved,” said Boyd Wiggam, counsel to Williams. “Williams’s case is very likely to succeed, so we believe this injunction is warranted.”
One of the few things Congress got right when it passed the Federal Election Campaign Act – thereby creating the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – was appointing an equal number of commissioners from both major political parties atop the agency. No matter what the agency’s bureaucrats want to do, they must usually answer to these political appointees. If a majority vote of four out of six commissioners cannot be achieved (that is, a passing vote with at least one vote from a commissioner of a different party), then the agency cannot act.