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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

Gerrymandering Is Headed Back to the Supreme Court

Professor Edward Foley was requoted in Mother Jones about a gerrymandering case in Wisconsin on its way to the Supreme Court. Other legal actions on partisan gerrymandering in Maryland and in North Carolina may be bound for the Supreme Court as well.

While previous Supreme Court cases have noted that partisan gerrymanders are “incompatible with democratic principles,” The New York Times originally reported, the court has never officially struck a case down. While it remains unseen how the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming cases, a 2004 ruling from a previous gerrymandering case could play a pivotal role in how the court stands in the future. 

“The ordered working of our Republic, and of the democratic process, depends on a sense of decorum and restraint in all branches of government, and in the citizenry itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in 2004. Kennedy’s statement is “the most important line” in the decision, Foley told The New York Times, adding,  “He’s going to look at what’s going on in North Carolina as the complete absence of that. I think that helps the plaintiffs in any of these cases.”


 

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Info & Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms District Court: NC Redistricting Unconstitutional

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the District Court, finding that North Carolina\'s Congressional redistricting plan violated the U.S. Constitution. The Court determined that racial considerations unlawfully predominated the designing of the contested districts. The case is Cooper v. Harris.

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