Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)

Paul Sherman on Free Speech in Elections

Radio Interview: 9 January 2013

I interviewed Paul Sherman on "Free Speech in Elections" on 9 January 2013. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.

Many people support restrictions on spending in elections, particularly by corporations, in the name of "transparency" and "accountability." Institute for Justice attorney Paul Sherman takes a very different view. He argues persuasively that any restrictions on campaign spending are violations of freedom of speech. He has successfully argued that view in courts across the country.

Paul Sherman is an attorney with the Institute for Justice. He litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting the First Amendment, economic liberty, property rights and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts. Paul has litigated extensively in the area of campaign finance. He currently represents a group of Florida political activists in Worley v. Roberts, a challenge to state campaign finance laws that burden the right of citizens to pool money for independent ads about ballot issues. Paul also served as co-counsel in SpeechNow.org v. FEC, which the Congressional Research Service described as representing one of "the most fundamental changes to campaign finance law in decades."

Tags: Activism, Campaign Finance, Elections, Free Speech, Government, Law, Politics, Rights


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  • Duration: 59:19
  • Download: MP3 File (20.4 MB)

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About the Podcast

The topics covered in this episode were:
  • Common federal and state campaign finance laws
  • The history of campaign finance laws
  • Breadth in decisions, and my case
  • The results of campaign finance laws
  • Private enforcement of campaign finance laws
  • The value of "transparency" and "accountability" in elections
  • Money as a form of speech
  • Protections for corporate speech
  • Privacy and campaign contributions
  • The irrelevance of funding to campaigns
  • SuperPACS
  • Individuals versus groups in campaign finance
  • The Institute for Justice's current cases and strategy
  • Truly supporting the First Amendment
  • How to effectively defend free speech

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About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.

From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.

You can listen to these 362 podcasts by subscribing to the Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the podcast archive, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.

My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.

You can also read my blog NoodleFood and subscribe to its Blog RSS Feed.

I can be reached via e-mail to diana@philosophyinaction.com.

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