How do we reclaim the protection of the First Amendment for political activists on the wrong side of campaign finance reform? The Pillar of Law Institute believes that a commitment to first principles and innovative litigation techniques will move the law in a fundamental, rather than incremental, pattern. And we have results to show for this process.

The Institute is a collaborative effort of the Wyoming Liberty Group. For five years, its legal team won or successfully influenced a number of important free speech cases, from drafting the victorious First Amendment defense for former Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s exoneration, to overturning a local restrictive sign ordinance, to offering an important argument in the celebrated Citizens United case at the United States Supreme Court. Whether law or overzealous prosecutors threaten a grassroots minor-party candidate or a well-established incumbent, the Institute will proudly and aggressively continue this tradition of ensuring that free speech is a principle to respect, not a problem to solve.

Imagine life today without the Citizens United ruling. The Federal Election Commission would be free to ban speakers mentioning federal candidates before elections. It could still pursue small non-profit corporations for daring to share the perspectives of their members with the public. Or imagine life today without the exoneration of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. States would be free to invent election crimes against unpopular officeholders for political retribution. Thanks to the efforts of Benjamin Barr and Stephen Klein, these abuses were halted.

New efforts to criminalize political participation and make politics a professional sport are on the rise. From penalizing people from “coordinating” with officeholders to forcing everyone to register and report with the government just to criticize it, serious litigation effort is needed. The Institute will be there to stop new silencing efforts before they take hold and defend innocent speakers simply wishing to speak their mind.