Update: ousted Congressman sues opponents for “loss of livelihood”

by Walter Olson on November 1, 2011

Updating our story of last December: A federal judge has given the go-ahead to former Rep. Steve Dreihaus’s suit against the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List for allegedly falsely characterizing his stands on issues during last year’s race, thus causing him to lose. Earlier, Driehaus had filed a complaint against the Anthony List under Ohio’s remarkable False Statements Law, “which criminalizes lying about public officials” and has been assailed by the ACLU among other groups as inconsistent with the First Amendment. [Seth McKelvey, Reason; Peter Roff, U.S. News]

{ 6 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 11.01.11 at 7:34 am

Aside from the fact that this suit is a blatant violation of the First Amendment, the implication that being a politician is a livelihood is risible. A politician serves at the pleasure of the electorate. They can vote him out of office for any reason or no reason at all. The judge should be impeached for allowing this lawsuit to continue.

2 Bob Lipton 11.01.11 at 12:53 pm

How unfair that he will have to go and work in world he helped make.

Bob

3 Jack B. 11.01.11 at 2:15 pm

Richard Nieporent: if the judge is impeached, then won’t he have grounds to sue for loss of livelihood? There’s already well-established precedent, ironically enough, in a case he presided over!

4 Bill H 11.01.11 at 11:21 pm

Hmmm. This seems to be an attempt at a SLAPP suit on-the-cheap.

5 Smart Dude 11.02.11 at 1:03 am

This must be a very, very special Federal Judge.

Obviously democrat party material for the Supreme Court.

(This nightmare of a judge was president and director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati ans an appointee of the Obama Regime).

6 Bill Poser 11.04.11 at 10:27 pm

How does this differ from a suit for defamation? That is definitely constitutional, and if the facts are as alleged, the standard of “actual malice” for public figures is met. Loss of employment would merely be one aspect of the calculation of damages.

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