29 pages, 2 MB

Brief of Amicus Curiae by the Independent Institute in Support of the Petitioners Mobilize the Message, LLC, et al., urging the Supreme Court to review an October 2022 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue is a California law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), that requires that canvassers be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. This policy makes hiring more expensive for the employers and gives less freedom to workers to express their political viewpoint.

The Independent Institute (the “Institute”) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public-policy research and educational organization that is committed to advancing a peaceful, prosperous, and free society grounded in the recognition of individual human worth and dignity. The Institute—which has closely studied and monitored the wide-ranging economic consequences of California Assembly Bill 5 (“AB5”) and its amendments2—believes that AB5 burdens the political speech of canvassers and causes devastating harm to independent contractors and small businesses. The Institute has been studying AB5 and its consequences for over three years and penned an open letter to Governor Gavin C. Newsom and Members of the California State Legislature on behalf of 153 economists and political scientists, calling for AB5’s suspension. The Institute has also been active amicus participant in similar suits challenging AB5’s constitutionality, including filing amicus briefs in a similar First Amendment suit brought by the American Society of Journalists and Authors (“ASJA”), see, e.g. Amicus Br. of the Independent Institute, et al., ASJA v. Bonta, No. 21-1172 (U.S. April 22, 2022), and the Institute’s scholars and its late founder and CEO David J. Theroux also filed an amicus brief in support of app-based workers in a suit challenging AB5 on Equal Protection grounds, see Amicus Br. of David R. Henderson et al., Olson v. California, No. 20-55267 (9th Cir. May 14, 2020).

Download the Independent Institute amicus brief here.