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Wisconsin Right to Life Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Appeal of Grassroots Lobbying Case This Term

Court Could Consider Appeal at January 19 Conference

Contact: Barbara Lyons, Executive Director, Wisconsin Right to Life, 414-778-5780, wrtl@wrtl.org

MILWAUKEE, Wisc., Jan. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Monday, January 15, Wisconsin Right to Life sent to the U.S. Supreme Court its response to the appeal of Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life (FEC v. WRTL) by the Federal Election Commission and Interveners Senator John McCain and other sponsors of the McCain-Feingold law. The appeal was filed after Wisconsin Right to Life was successful in garnering a lower court decision declaring as unconstitutional the prohibition on airing the ads which WRTL wanted to run in 2004.

"Wisconsin Right to Life has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to accept the appeal and decide the case on its merits because of the public importance of this matter," said Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. "We have also asked the Court to decide the matter this term which concludes at the end of June."

"This is a case of national importance," declared WRTL attorney James Bopp, Jr. "It provides the U.S. Supreme Court with the opportunity to affirm the right of citizen groups to lobby incumbent politicians about upcoming votes in Congress even before elections without being subject to criminal penalties. We hope this case can be decided before July." The expeditious filing of briefs by both sides permits the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the appeal at its January 19th conference.

The electioneering communication provision of the McCain-Feingold law prohibits mentioning the name of a federal candidate in a broadcast ad within 60 days of a general election and 30 days of a primary. Since Congress is often in session during these times, groups have historically broadcast grassroots lobbying ads to inform the public about a matter before Congress to give citizens the opportunity to contact their elected officials on upcoming votes. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this prohibition on its face in 2003, but the district court ruled in December of 2006 that the prohibition could not be constitutionally applied to grassroots lobbying ads.

This is the second time that the Wisconsin Right to Life case might reach the high court. In a prior appeal of this case, the U. S. Supreme Court reversed within a week of oral arguments the lower court's dismissal of the case and remanded it to the district court to decide the case on the merits.

The Wisconsin Right to Life response will be posted as soon as possible on the web site of the James Madison Center for Free Speech at http://www.JamesMadisonCenter.org

Our Mission
Wisconsin Right to Life believes that each human life is inherently valuable from fertilization to natural death. Our mission is: "To make euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and destruction of human embryos socially, ethically and legally unacceptable solutions to human problems and to promote positive alternatives to each of these acts."

To learn more about Wisconsin Right to Life, visit our website: http://www.wrtl.org