I DON’T THINK YOU NEED TO BE A FIRST AMENDMENT EXPERT, OR A POLITICAL JUNKIE, TO FIGURE THIS ONE OUT
From an AP article that appeared today on the web sites of both the Arizona Daily Star and the Detroit News, we get this: “Candidates for public office in Ohio can lie and get away with it under a recent federal court ruling that struck down a state law banning false statements in campaigns, an attorney says.”
Really? A candidate for public office can lie and get away with it? Wow.
Even worse, a lawmaker admitted, “I think the law should encourage people to tell the truth, but I don’t know that there’s a lot we can do.”
There’s not a lot lawmakers can do about candidates for public office not telling the truth? Say it isn’t so!
Laying aside the free speech implications, how can a public official fail to see the irony of lamenting that candidates lie, and that lawmakers can’t make a law to stop them? When has a lawmaker ever acknowledged that there’s a problem they can’t fix?
But here’s the money quote from the article:
“[T]he U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals a few weeks ago upheld the 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black that found the law violated the First Amendment….
“Black wrote that ‘lies are bad,’ but with some political speech, ‘there is no clear way to determine whether a political statement is a lie or the truth, and we certainly do not want the government deciding what is political truth.’”
At least the judge seems to have some grasp of the First Amendment.
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