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Litigation

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Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

Case Information

Date Filed: October 4, 2010
State: Ohio
Issue: Improper Election Communications
Current Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Case 1:10-cv-720)

Issue:

1. To challenge a speech-suppressive law, must a party whose speech is arguably proscribed prove that authorities would certainly and successfully prosecute or should the court presume that a credible threat of prosecution exists absent desuetude or a firm commitment by prosecutors not to enforce the law?

2. Whether state laws proscribing “false” political speech are subject to pre-enforcement First Amendment review so long as the speaker maintains that the speech is true, even if others who enforce the law manifestly disagree.

Status:

District Court Orders granting motions to dismiss of Ohio Election Commission et al filed 8/1/11. Sixth Circuit opinion filed 5/13/13. Petition for Certiorari filed 8/9/13. Brief of State Respondents in Opposition filed 11/27/13. Reply Brief of Petitioners filed 12/11/13. Petition for Certiorari granted 1/10/14. Brief of Petitioners filed 2/24/14. Argument held on April 22, 2014. Opinion reversing lower court issued June 16, 2014. Motion to expedite opinion filed 7/24/14. Mandate filed 7/24/14. Order by District Court permanently enjoining enforcement of political false-statements law filed 9/11/14.

U.S. Supreme Court Documents

Circuit Court Documents

District Court Documents

Commentary

In the News

David  Stebenne

Can Kasich win all 88 Ohio counties?

Professor David Stebenne was quoted in an Ohio Watchdog article about the possibility of Governor John Kasich winning all 88 Ohio counties in his re-election bid.

“It’s really hard to do,” he said. “As popular as the governor is and as weak as his opponent is, I doubt he’ll carry all 88 (counties).”

Stebenne said Ohio has some unusual counties, which tend to be really Democratic or really Republican.

He said a good example was the election of 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower carried 87 of 88 Ohio counties.

“He lost one of the Appalachian counties — a poor county where the residents tend to vote Democratic no matter what,” Stebenne said. “There was even some humorous discussion in the Oval Office about that one county.”

Glenn and Voinovich were “the two most popular candidates in modern history,” he added, “and they each only did it once. While Kasich is popular, he really doesn’t have the broad appeal that these two did.”

Stebenne said that both Voinovich and Kasich come from communities that tend to be more Democratic in voter registration, but that Kasich’s first race for governor was more divisive than the races for Voinovich.

“Voinovich had electoral success in Cleveland and as governor because he was able to persuade Democrats to vote Republican,” he said. “Glenn had national appeal across party lines.”

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Info & Analysis

10th Circuit Reverses District Court on KS and AZ Proof of Citizenship Requirement

The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an opinion today in Kobach v. EAC, rejecting the proof of citizenship requirement imposed by Kansas and Arizona in the voter registration process.

more info & analysis...