Court: Campaign Laws Banning ‘False Statements’ Stifle Debate - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jun 16, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that an anti-abortion group can challenge an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign, the Associated Press reports. Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said the existence of the law has a chilling effect on political speech because individuals and interest groups have reason to believe their statements may be censured. Both liberal and conservative groups have criticized the law, saying it stifles crucial debate during elections, including negative speech that may sometimes twist the facts. Tennessee and 12 other states have similar laws. WRCB-TV has the story.