Today the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) was victorious in its legal battle against Ohio’s “false statement” law, which previously allowed a politically-appointed government panel to determine true or false political speech. Judge Timothy Black ruled in favor of SBA List in the case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Ohio Elections Commission, striking down the Ohio law as unconstitutional, and leaving the SBA List and others free to engage in the public square without fear of prosecution.
“After four years and a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, today we finally have a victory for free speech,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
Judge Black quoted this statement from the SBA List oral arguments in his decision: “[We are not] arguing for a right to lie. We’re arguing that we have a right not to have the truth of our political statements be judged by the Government.”
Previously the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the SBA List had standing to continue its First Amendment challenge to the Ohio law. Similar laws exist in 15 other states.
“This summer more than twenty groups from across the political spectrum submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of SBA List. The ACLU, the Cato Institute, and even President Obama’s own Solicitor General supported our fight for the right to criticize elected officials,” continued Dannenfelser.
“Today’s decision allows us to freely communicate the truth with voters – that elected representatives who voted for the Affordable Care Act voted for taxpayer-funded abortion. It is beyond dispute that, because Congress and the White House failed to include the Stupak amendment, ObamaCare contains multiple abortion-funding provisions. This reality will continue to be a key part of our message to voters in the 2014 midterm elections and beyond.”
The case was spurred by SBA List’s 2010 attempt to put up billboards exposing that former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) supported taxpayer-funded abortion by voting for the Affordable Care Act. Last week, the Susan B. Anthony List launched a similar billboard campaign in Louisiana to expose Senator Mary Landrieu for her vote for taxpayer funded abortion. Like Driehaus, Senator Landrieu voted for the Affordable Care Act.