WASHINGTON, DC (WTVN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of an anti-abortion group challenging the constitutionality of an Ohio law that says lying in campaign ads is illegal.
The case was brought by the Susan B. Anthony List which launched an ad against then-Congressman Steve Driehaus accusing him of voting for "taxpayer funded abortion" by supporting President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Driehaus took the case to the Ohio Elections Commission, but withdrew the complaint after he lost the election to Republican Steve Chabot. Despite that, the Susan B. Anthony List decided to continue fighting on the grounds that the law violates free speech.
Lower courts decided that the challenge couldn't continue because no violation was ever found since the case was dropped before the Ohio Election Commission.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has come down on both sides of the argument. His office has to defend Ohio laws in court, but he filed a personal legal brief agreeing that the law chills free speech.
If Ohio's law is overturned it could have an impact on several other states with similar laws.
“Today’s decision by the court is a step toward victory for the freedom of speech and the broad coalition of groups who have supported SBA List throughout this case. The truth or falsity of political speech should be judged by voters, not government bureaucrats,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This reality will continue to be an issue in the midterm elections and future election cycles. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, SBA List is now one step closer in its quest to unleash the First Amendment from the constraints imposed by Ohio’s unconstitutional false speech statute. We are optimistic that the district court will rule quickly and will side with the First Amendment, so that we may proceed in Ohio – without fear of prosecution – with our ongoing efforts to inform voters that their elected representatives voted for taxpayer funded abortion.”