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Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

Case Information

Date Filed: October 4, 2010
State: Ohio
Issue: Improper Election Communications
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Case 1:10-cv-720); U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Case 11-3894, 11-3925); U.S. Supreme Court (Case 13-193)

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. Sixth Circuit Order affirming judgment of District  Court filed 3/6/15.

U.S. Supreme Court Documents

Circuit Court Documents

District Court Documents

Commentary

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Trump Calls for Voter Fraud Probe: A Look at Past Inquiries

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in Voice of America about President Donald Trump’s plans to launch a “major investigation” into voter fraud. Trump claims he lost the popular vote because as many as 5 million non-U.S. citizens may have voted illegally.

“As I understand the latest allegations, somewhere between 3 to 5 million improper ballots were cast this past November nationwide, which Trump claims accounts for why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote,” Foley said. “Even if there were 3 to 5 million invalid votes nationwide, we can’t jump to the conclusion that the election result was tainted, because we don’t know who they voted for.”

The odds of a non-U.S. citizen successfully casting a ballot are “extremely low, extraordinarily low,” according to Foley. Instances in which invalid ballots are cast or when voters’ names appear on multiple state voter rolls also don’t necessarily indicate voter fraud either, he added.

“Just because a ballot was cast that was invalid, which is a problem, doesn’t necessarily mean there was a conspiracy to commit voter fraud,” Foley said. “Fraud is a pejorative term that implies intentional deception and manipulation, as opposed to there being mistakes in voter registration lists.”
 


 

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Info & Analysis

U.S. District Judge Rules that Ohio Voter Services Website Violates ADA

A U.S. District Judge issued an opinion finding that the Ohio Secretary of State\'s voter services website violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not accessible to visually impaired Ohio voters. Judge George C. Smith ordered Secretary of State John Husted to make the site more accessible by September 29, 2017. As discussed in the opinion, the information on the voter services site does not meet established standards of accessibility for visually impaired voters who use screen reading software. The case is Hindel v. Husted.

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