In August 2019, then-Chairwoman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission publicly argued that automatic voter registration (AVR) is a form of compelled political speech that violates the First Amendment. This Essay undergoes the worthwhile, and as of yet unperformed, task of evaluating a hypothetical First Amendment challenge to AVR. In considering the merits of such a challenge, this Essay examines how the Roberts Court’s recent First Amendment jurisprudence might complicate this analysis by undermining the traditional frameworks used to evaluate incidental First Amendment harms caused by otherwise permissible election regulations.
J.D., Yale Law School ’20. I am grateful to Francesca Procaccini, Robert Post, and Floyd Abrams for their generous feedback. Special thanks to Samantha Greenky and the editors of the Northwestern University Law Review for their diligent work.
Copyright 2020 by Jacob van Leer
Cite as: Jacob van Leer, The Roberts Court, Compelled Speech, and a Constitutional Defense of Automatic Voter Registration, 115 Nw. U. L. Rev. Online 169 (2020), https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1295&context=nulr_online&preview_mode=1&z=1603143580.