Patriotic Veterans Inc. Takes Indiana 1st Amendment Battle to U.S. Supreme Court

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Contact: Paul Caprio • 312.670.4238 • Email:

(Indianapolis, IN)

Patriotic Veterans, Inc., an Illinois grassroots political speech, issue advocacy group, has today filed a petition to bring its 1st Amendment free speech claim (Patriotic Veterans vs. Zoeller) before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Patriotic Veterans, Inc. initiated this lawsuit against Indiana in 2010. The case has bounced between the Federal District Court in Indianapolis and the 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Chicago. On January 3, 2017, a 7th Circuit 3 judge panel ruled against Patriotic Veterans, Inc.’s 1st Amendment right to communicate its 1st Amendment protected views to Indiana voters through the use of automated calls.

The Indiana statute is considered the most restricting in the nation requiring a live operator to gain permission from a recipient before Patriotic Veterans, Inc. can send its automated message.

Paul Caprio, President of Patriotic Veterans, Inc. stated:

“‘Equal Justice Under Law.’ These are the words emblazoned above the Supreme     Court Building.

        Unfortunately, the Indiana statute fails to live up to that promise for a number of     important reasons.

        The Indiana statute reverses centuries of Supreme Court precedents by elevating     commercial speech over 1st Amendment protected political/issue advocacy speech.

        Under the Indiana statute, a large corporation such as a drug chain or a Walmart     is allowed to make hundreds of thousands of unrestricted commercial calls to their     customers. Patriotic Veterans, Inc. is forced by Indiana to make a restricted 30 second     call for more than 8 times the cost and with censorship by the state.

        Indiana claims this unwarranted intrusion upon Patriotic Veterans, Inc.’s     guaranteed 1st Amendment political speech and issue advocacy rights is based on a state     interest in preventing ‘annoyance’… although Patriotic Veterans, Inc. has never made an     automated call in the State of Indiana, and some recipients are just as ‘annoyed’ by radio     and TV commercials.”

Stated Jim Nalepa, Patriotic Veterans, Inc.’s National Chairman:

“Our Patriotic Veterans did not fight in the rice paddies of Vietnam or the bone

    chilling cold of Korea to protect Indiana citizens’ right to be protected from ‘annoyance.’

        They did risk their lives to protect all Americans’ 1st Amendment rights to

    political free speech and redress of grievance from the government.”

President Paul Caprio continued:

“In Indiana, the same unrestricted call that Walgreens (commercial entity) can     legally make to promote its product becomes a criminal act for Patriotic Veterans, Inc.     with a possible jail sentence for exercising its 1st Amendment rights as guaranteed by the     U.S. Constitution.”

Many other 1st Amendment questions have come before this Court, however, none will have the devastating impact upon 1st Amendment protected political speech and issue advocacy in other jurisdictions across our country if the 7th Circuit decision is allowed to stand.

Patriotic Veterans, Inc. respectfully petitions this Court for “Equal Justice Under Law” by reversing the decision of the 7th Circuit Court in Patriotic Veterans, Inc. vs. Zoeller.

The full Patriotic Veterans, Inc. petition filed yesterday can be downloaded from our website,

Contact Information

414 North Orleans Plaza • Suite 320 • Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312-670-4238
Fax: 312-670-4240 • •