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News
November 5, 2000

Chamber Wins Free Speech Case

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 6, 2000 – The United States Chamber of Commerce hailed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s ruling today that Mississippi may not prevent the Chamber from airing its educational issue ads.

“Justice Scalia upheld our fundamental right to free speech,” said Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce. “These ads provide crucial information to the citizens of Mississippi on the impact of judicial elections on jobs and justice and are protected under the First Amendment.”

In his ruling, Justice Scalia stayed three Mississippi State court rulings that prevented the airing of issue ads in state Supreme Court races. The ruling stays restraining orders obtained by Mississippi judicial candidates in the central and southern judicial districts.

“It is disappointing that Mississippi judicial candidates and the Mississippi State courts would attempt to interfere with the Chamber’s constitutional rights at such a critical moment,” said Donohue. “Fortunately, the candidates’ restraining orders were immediately stayed by Justice Scalia.

“This is exactly why we are fighting so hard for the rule of law,” said Donohue.

For the first time, the Chamber is sponsoring issue advertising in states where critical issues affecting legal reform are being debated. The Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the Chamber, is supporting educational issue ads in Mississippi and several other states.

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