Judge rejects First Amendment challenge to democracy-voucher program

November 03, 2017 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

Today, Judge Beth Andrus granted Seattle’s motion to dismiss our clients’ First Amendment challenge to the city’s democracy-voucher program. Judge Andrus held that forcing property owners to pay for private residents’ campaign contributions does not burden property owners’ speech rights. This disappointing decision runs contrary to a long line of Supreme Court cases stating that the First Amendment allows each of us to decide what to say and what not to say. The Supreme Court has applied this rule to compelled speech and compelled subsidies of speech, like the tax at issue here. Our clients and Seattle property owners generally should not be forced to sponsor other people’s political views. We plan to vindicate that principle on appeal.