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    Edwards Wildman’s Mark Freel Prevails in ACLU Case on Anonymous Political Pamphleteering

    News
    Mark Freel, a litigation partner in Edwards Wildman's' Providence office, represented John Blakeslee, a resident of Smithfield, Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a case that that challenged the constitutionality of a Rhode Island statute banning anonymous political pamphleteering. Freel, in conjunction with Blakeslee and the ACLU, filed suit against Smithfield's police chief, the Town of Smithfield, and the state Attorney General's office challenging the constitutionality of a Rhode Island law banning the distribution of anonymous negative campaign literature. U.S. District Chief Judge William E. Smith struck down the law as unconstitutional, noting that the law was a violation of the First Amendment. In addition, Judge Smith cited a U.S. Supreme Court precedent saying that under the Constitution, anonymous political pamphleteering reflects a long-standing and historic tradition of dissent and open debate. Click to read the Providence Journal article about this landmark case.

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