South Carolina law allows only certain legislative caucuses - those formed around party, race, or gender - to raise money and engage in the full range of protected free speech. The House Democratic Caucus, House Republican Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Women’s Caucus can speak freely, but ideologically-oriented groups like the Freedom Caucus (and the Progressive Caucus) may not. Instead, the members of these caucuses face criminal penalties for exercising their First Amendment rights. South Carolina’s law restricting speech “based on the specific motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker” is blatantly unconstitutional.
AFL sued the South Carolina House of Representatives Legislative Ethics Committee on behalf of the South Carolina Freedom Caucus following attacks on its members’ free speech.
AFL Win. The District Court held that the restrictions on speech were unconstitutional and ordered the provisions of law unenforceable against AFL’s clients.