“Ministries of truth should be left in 1984″

by Walter Olson on March 7, 2014

Trevor Burrus on the serious side of the case that elicited Cato’s humorous amicus brief the other day [Forbes]:

Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus… will be argued [before the Supreme Court] in April. The case is a challenge to Ohio’s bizarre statute prohibiting knowingly or recklessly making “false” statements about a political candidate or ballot initiative. In other words, the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) essentially runs a ministry of truth to which any citizen can submit a complaint. Amazingly, twenty other states have such laws.

Laws against lying in political speech are not administered by disinterested truth seekers, but by people with their own political convictions. They chill large amounts of truthful speech and deprive the public of hearing a robust debate on the issues. And, as we will see, they are used by political opponents to turn campaigning into litigation.

{ 1 comment }

1 KB 03.07.14 at 5:24 pm

Even to me, a non-lawyer type, this is funny. This could easily be coming from Mark Twain or Will Rogers.

“This Court should terminate it with extreme prejudice.”

“There is no lie that can be told about a politician
that will not be more damaging to the liar once the
truth is revealed.”

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