Supreme Court Tackles Lying in Elections

Steven Driehaus previously ran for re-election in the state of Ohio.  However, due to some disparaging remarks made by the Susan B. Anthony list, he lost; he has since filed suit, claiming that the remarks made by the pro-life organization violated a law that bans reckless statements against candidates for political office in the last sixty days before elections.  The Washington Times recently completed an article to summarize the case thus far and to speculate on a ruling.

        While running for re-election in 2010, the Susan B. Anthony pro-life group placed comments on their billboards that accused Democratic Driehaus of supporting taxpayer-funded abortions.  They made these statements after learning that he voted for the Affordable Care Act. Driehaus lost his election shortly after this event, causing him to file a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission.

The commission did find probable cause that the Susan B. Anthony billboard comments were responsible for Driehaus’ loss.  After this ruling, Driehaus dropped the issue, as the damage had already been done on his end, resulting him to lose his election.

The Susan B. Anthony organization, on the other hand, continues to fight the battle in court.  Their president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, claims that no one should be forced into submission during elections; the organization believes their comments were covered under the first amendment, regarding freedom of speech.  Therefore, stamens and defenses continue in court.  A ruling is anticipated sometime in June.

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