Anti-Abortion Group's Case Heads Back to Ohio Court

Wednesday, 18 Jun 2014 12:20 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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The Supreme Court’s rare unanimous decision siding with an anti-abortion group’s right to sue over Ohio’s False Statement Law means the case will return to an Ohio courtroom.

The law criminalizes "knowingly or recklessly" distribute false statements about a political candidate.

The case stemmed from a 2010 attempt by the Susan B. Anthony List – which seeks to eliminate abortion in the U.S. by supporting pro-life politicians – to run billboards stating that Ohio Democratic Rep. Steven Driehaus supported "taxpayer-funded abortion" by voting for Obamacare.

Driehaus complained that the billboard, had it run, would have violated Ohio’s False Statement Law. The Ohio Election Commission agreed, ruling that probable cause existed that the billboard’s message could be false.

The case is considered a political speech issue and paves the way for a broader challenge to the government’s right to decide falsehoods in political advertising, according to Politico.

"Our freedom of speech is being chilled by an existence of these laws because we were prevented from speaking the truth to voters during the 2010 midterm elections," Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman Mallory Quigley said Wednesday during an appearance on Newsmax TV’s "America’s Forum."

"We don't want to see that happen to anyone in the future."

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