Judge Nap on New SCOTUS Free Speech Ruling: 'Voters Must Decide What's True'
In a victory for free-speech rights, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that bans campaign statements deemed to be false. It all stems from the 2010 campaign when the Susan B. Anthony List ran an ad that criticized then-Rep. David Driehaus (D-OH), claiming he voted for taxpayer-funded abortions.
Here's more on the ruling from FoxNews.com:
The justices, in a unanimous decision, ruled that the Susan B. Anthony List can go ahead with a lawsuit challenging the law as a violation of free-speech rights.
Both liberal and conservative groups have criticized the law, saying it has a chilling effect on political speech. Even Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine declined to defend the law in court, sending his deputies to argue for the state.
The Susan B. Anthony List was accused of violating the law during the 2010 election, when it accused then-Ohio Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus of supporting taxpayer-funded abortion because he backed the new health care law.
Driehaus threatened to take them before the Ohio commission that reviews the accuracy of political ads.
Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas cited concerns about the chilling effect on groups wishing to run political ads.
"The credibility of that threat is bolstered by the fact that authority to file a complaint with the Commission is not limited to a prosecutor or an agency. Instead, the false statement statute allows 'any person' with knowledge of the purported violation to file a complaint," the opinion said.
Judge Andrew Napolitano analyzed the ruling this morning on Fox and Friends, saying it will be up to voters to decide whether statements made in a political campaign are truthful.
"The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to keep the government out of the business of deciding whether statements are true or false," he said, adding that if the government gets to decide what is accurate, then it will be like the "old Soviet Union."