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CFIF Launches Ad Campaign Against Senator Mary Landrieu for Flip-Flop on Miguel Estrada

The Center has launched a Spanish radio ad campaign in Louisiana to insist that Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) keep her campaign promise to her Honduran constituents...[more]

CFIF Sr. Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jeffrey Mazzella Hosts Live Online Session on Washingtonpost.com

On March 6, the Center’s Jeffrey Mazzella was the host of a Washington Post online discussion regarding the ongoing battle over the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  To read the full transcript, click here.

The Filibuster of Miguel Estrada

Miguel Estrada’s American Dream did not end yesterday.  It was, however, once again stalled by 44 Democrats who refuse to end their unprecedented and unconscionable filibuster of Estrada’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit...[more]

Miguel Estrada: What the Nation’s Editorial Pages Are Saying

Senate Democrats continue to lead a filibuster against the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  The obstructionist maneuver is now in its third week, with no discernable end in sight. While the Senate is playing politics as usual, it is clear the American people are fed up with the obstructionism.  And since Mr. Estrada’s nomination was voted out of committee on January 30, the nation’s editorial pages (not traditionally bastions of “right-wing ideologue” thought) have weighed in on the battle.

To download more, click here.

A New Ninth Circuit in the New Year?

It appears that the Ninth Circuit’s New Year’s resolution is to decrease the number of rulings overturned by the United States Supreme Court.  Only two months into the New Year, the traditionally rogue Ninth Circuit has issued two opinions in the campaign finance arena that are remarkably deferential to Supreme Court precedent and leanings...[more]

McLawsuit Reheated: It Doesn't Taste Any Better

The McFatties are back. A month after a federal district judge dismissed their class action lawsuit against McDonald's, a group of overweight children and their parents filed a new complaint against the fast food giant maintaining that Ronald, Grimace and the Hamburglar must pay up for childhood obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease...[more]

Shakedown in ‘The Golden State’

More than 150 years after gold was first discovered at Sutter's Mill in California, a new Gold Rush has begun in that state, fueled by the shameless exploitation of one of the most powerful consumer protection laws in the nation.  Trading in their pick axes and mules for law degrees and monogrammed briefcases, today’s prospectors are trial lawyers who are panning for gold along the shores of endless streams of unsuspecting businesses...[more]

When Dinner with the Governor Could Be a Felony
McCain-Feingold 101:  (For Those Who Passed It)

It is not uncommon for the U.S. Congress to pass measures that those voting for them have neither read nor understood.  Rarely does that matter much to those doing the passing, since the impact is predominantly on the rest of us.  Besides, all legislation is for our own good, even when we don’t comprehend that, and we should just be grateful, shoulder the consequences and accept the wisdom of the ignorant and inept...[more]

Center Urges Landrieu to Stand by Her Campaign Commitment on Estrada

In a letter sent to Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the Center urged that she stand by a campaign commitment she made to tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking Louisianans on the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

To read the letter, click here.

    The Landrieu Response

    Responding to charges of flip-flopping on her support for Miguel Estrada, Senator Landrieu issued the following response.  Since it is written in political weasel speech, we have taken the liberty of interspersing some comments. To read Landrieu's response, click here.

Dear Senators, It's "Advise and Consent," Not "Obstruct and Delay"

Center Urges Unobstructed Floor Vote on Miguel Estrada. As the full Senate considers the confirmation of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Center for Individual Freedom today reminded all 100 Senators of their constitutional responsibility to the judicial confirmation process...[more]

Secretary of State Colin Powell Makes Case on Iraq

To read the full text of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5 address to the U.N., click here.

Grape Expectations: Federal Appeals Court Rules Table Grape Check-Off Unconstitutional

Since 1996, grapes grown for wine production have produced bottles aged to perfection, while others have shriveled into raisins.  At the same time, a federal lawsuit over table grapes has wound its way through the courts like a vine...[more]

Help End the Partisan Blockade Against President Bush's Judicial Nominees:  Liberals Target Miguel Estrada

The federal judiciary is mired in a crisis.  Dockets are overloaded and longstanding vacancies at district and circuit court levels are going unfilled...[more]

Center to Senate Judiciary Committee: Send Miguel Estrada to the Senate Floor

The Center for Individual Freedom today urged the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to send the confirmation of Miguel Estrada, one of President George W. Bush’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to the chamber floor for an up-or-down vote by all 100 Senators.  Estrada is slated to be the first Hispanic ever to serve on the D.C. Court of Appeals...[more]

CFIF Executive Director to Discuss Campaign Finance “Reform” at 30th Anniversary of CPAC

Center for Individual Freedom Executive Director Eric Schippers will be joining Judge Kenneth Starr of Kirkland & Ellis and election law expert Cleta Mitchell of Foley & Lardner for a panel discussion on the ongoing lawsuit over the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA).  The panel, Campaign Finance Reform: Does the 1st Amendment Mean Anything, will be featured at the 30th anniversary of CPAC on Saturday, February 1 at 11:00 a.m. at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.  The discussion will be moderated by Southeastern Legal Foundation President Phil Kent...[more]

Urge Congress to Pass Medical Liability Reform

The nation’s physicians have become the latest target of opportunistic plaintiff’s attorneys in search of the next big payday.  Thousands of doctors are being hauled into court each year to defend against frivolous claims not even remotely based on law or fact.  Even when their clients are beyond reproach, physicians’ insurance companies often settle bogus claims out of court, especially when the cost of settlement is significantly less than the cost of a vigorous defense — it almost always is.

The result has been skyrocketing rates for medical malpractice insurance, driving many physicians to close their doors or significantly scale back their practices.

It’s time for Congress to pass the president’s plan on medical liability reform.  To send an e-mail to your elected officials in Washington DC, click here.

The Looming Debate over Privacy, Commercial Speech and the Fair Credit Reporting Act

With the 108th Congress in session less than a month, a showdown over privacy issues is already gearing up...[more] 

Center Expresses Strong Support for Making Permanent Internet Tax Moratorium

In a letter to Senator George Allen (R-VA), the Center expressed strong support for his legislation to make permanent the moratorium on multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce and taxes on Internet access.  Furthermore, the Center applauds his efforts to repeal current taxes on Internet access in those states that were grandfathered when Congress originally passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998.

To read the Center’s letter, click here.

Legislation Introduced to Extend Internet Tax Moratorium, PERMANENTLY!

On January 7, the first day of the 108th Congress, Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced companion legislation (The Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act) that, if passed, will make permanent the Internet tax moratorium...[more]

“Beating a Dead Horse”

Chief Justice William Rehnquist kicked off the New Year with a familiar mantra, pleading with Congress to help extricate the federal judiciary from its current crisis of overcrowded dockets, too few judges and inadequate resources.  “The 2002 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary is my 17th,” Rehnquist wrote.  “As I look back on these reports, I am struck by the number of issues that seem regularly to crop up, or perhaps never go away – judicial vacancies, the need for additional judgeships, judges’ salaries, judicial appropriations.”...[more]

States Vote to Streamline Collection of Internet Sales Taxes

A coalition of lawmakers and tax collectors from more than 30 states gathered together in Chicago on November 12 to approve the final draft of an interstate agreement to “simplify” their tax laws and make it easier for budget-strapped legislators to collect sales and use taxes on Internet purchases...[more]


President Bush triumphed in last week’s midterm elections.  His party recaptured control of the United States Senate and strengthened its majority in the House of Representatives, a feat of historic proportions that has Democrats still pondering the question, “What went wrong?”...[more]

The Midterm Elections: Looking for the Lockbox

It is fitting that the country music awards followed by one night the midterm elections.  It is equally fitting that Alan Jackson, the humble, deferential Georgia writer and singer of simple songs swept the table in stunning similarity to the President’s sweep the night before...[more]

Center Urges Landrieu to Stand by Her Distorted Principles on Campaign Finance “Reform”

Two days after the mid-term elections, the Center for Individual Freedom sent a letter to Senator Mary Landrieu urging her to stand by her commitment to campaign finance “reform” during her Louisiana run-off election against Suzanne Terrell.  The Center is a named plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, as we seek to restore the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans to engage in the political process that Landrieu and many of her colleagues so willingly stripped away.

“As a matter of your own, albeit distorted, principles on campaign finance, it would behoove you to reject all soft money donations during the run-off and campaign within the bounds of BCRA.  You voted for it; live by it. . .”...[more]

Federal Judge Rules Beef Checkoff is 'Government Speech'

Abandoning the notion that the beef checkoff is a “self-help” program, the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) have temporarily staved off one of a number of challenges to the beef checkoff by persuading a federal court that the program is, in fact, “government speech.”...[more]

Center to Chairman Patrick Leahy:
Adopt President’s Plan to Speed Judicial Confirmations

On October 31, the Center for Individual Freedom sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) urging him to support President Bush’s recent nonpartisan proposal to streamline and expedite the judicial nomination and confirmation process.

To read the Center’s letter, click here.

Welcome to the Town of “Got Milk?”
A Shining Symbol of the Fleecing of America's Dairy Farmers

What to do when an endless parade of mustachioed celebrities starts getting old?  Go out and buy a town, of course.

Jeff Manning, Executive Director of the California Milk Processor Board, which oversees the “Got Milk?” advertising program, has devised a plan to solicit a small town in his state to change its name to “Got Milk?” in exchange for a “meaningful contribution” to the town and construction of a local “Got Milk?” museum and tourist attraction.  “It’s all about the ad campaign,” Manning beamed to the San Francisco Chronicle.[more]

Pork: The Other Unconstitutional Checkoff

A federal judge in Michigan declared another of the nation’s agricultural commodity promotion programs unconstitutional in an order issued October 25.  The order struck down portions of the federal Pork Production, Research and Consumer Education Act of 1985, which created the pork checkoff program authorizing the collection of mandatory assessments on pork producers that pay for generic advertising, such as the campaign touting “Pork: The Other White Meat.”…[more]

BCRA and the Hollywood Loophole

The media stands to gain enormous power in the political process should BCRA be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, as they’re exempt. That much is clear to everyone following this issue, especially the editorial page editors of nearly every major newspaper in the country. However, what’s not being discussed, much to the delight of "reformers," is what appears to be an exemption for Hollywood....[more]

McConnell’s Turn in the Barrel

"I am telling you under oath that I will conscientiously enforce the law, including laws and precedent that I don’t agree with... I will tell you with as much conviction as anything, that I believe in and am committed to the rule of law."

That was the recurring theme voiced by University of Utah Law School Professor Michael McConnell at his September 18 confirmation hearing for a seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He waited more than 16 months for his turn on the notorious hot seat that has been anything but judicious to those who preceded him since the Democrats took control of the committee more than a year ago....[more]

Owen’s Defeat Draws Line in the Sand

The battle over the confirmation of President George W. Bush’s nominations to the federal bench has been anything but routine. However, a nominee who has served as a state supreme court justice over the past eight years, elected to a second term with 84 percent of the vote and with the endorsements of every major newspaper in the state, should clear the Senate’s "advise and consent" hurdle with relative ease. Add to that a unanimous "well-qualified" rating from the American Bar Association’s Committee on the Judiciary, the support of colleagues, a bipartisan group of 15 former state bar presidents, both her state’s senators and a majority in the U.S. Senate and you have a shoo-in, right?...[more]

Hacking Through the Ivy: Moral Relativism at Princeton

We admit to a perverse fondness for stories relating the perfidies of academia, although we diligently attempt to mask that perversity by citing more serious principles for our interest. It is thus that we discuss Princeton University’s Internet second story job on Yale University’s admissions Website...[more]

Beef Checkoff Litigation
Avoids Trial On Factual Issues

The Honorable Richard F. Cebull, United States District Court Judge for the District of Montana, entered an order on August 30, 2002, that averts a trial on factual issues in dispute in the legal battle over the Beef Checkoff Program filed by Montana ranchers Steve and Jeanne Charter and the Center for Individual Freedom. This legal twist comes in response to cross-motions filed by the parties requesting the court to summarily rule on the constitutionality of the checkoff program...[more]

Big Win for the Little Guys: Federal Court Rules Irvine’s Campaign Finance Restrictions Unconstitutional

Time and again we read about the little guy who took on city hall and lost. Not this time...[more]

Healthy Campaigns, Democracy Are Compatible

By Senator Mitch McConnell:
(Reprinted with permission from The Hill) As the outrage lobby,a.k.a the campaign finance reform industry, continues its hype and hyperbole, I am reminded of that infamous quote from the House Democratic leader, Dick Gephardt (Mo.), on this very issue: "What we have is two important values in direct conflict: freedom of speech and our desire for healthy campaigns in a healthy democracy...[more]

"Let’s Get Ready to Rumble. . ."

Not since Muhammad Ali and "Smokin’ Joe" Frazier fought the Thrilla in Manila more than 25 years ago has there been so much buzz. Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call called it a modern-day "Clash of the Titans" — the "Thrilla in the LBJ Room."

The event: A shouting match between two Democratic heavyweights in the U.S. Senate — Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Russ Feingold (D-WI). The setting: A Democratic Policy Committee luncheon. The issue: Implementation of Feingold’s Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (BCRA) and its impact on Senate Democrats...[more]

House Votes to Grant Pilots Right to Bear Arms in Cockpit

"Do you really think that 9/11 would have happened if our pilots had been armed, as they should have been armed?" asked House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK) during a recent debate. While no one can answer that question with certainty, the House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly responded (voting 310-113) by authorizing pilots to carry guns in the cockpit as a "last line of defense" against would-be terrorists...[more]

John McCain Strikes Again
Who in the World is Ellen Weintraub?

President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees face yet another hurdle in the U.S. Senate — Senator John McCain. The Arizona Republican has placed a hold on all nominations pending before the Senate, including 17 judicial nominees. And the "maverick" senator is vowing to prevent any action on their confirmations until the president assures him that Ellen Weintraub will receive a recess appointment to a seat on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) during Congress’ upcoming August break...[more]

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