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Published On: Wed, Apr 23rd, 2014

Supreme Court begins free speech case over Obamacare billboards banned as ‘lies’

PRESS RELEASE: The Life Legal Defense Foundation closely watched the US Supreme Court today as arguments were heard regarding a voter’s “right to know.”   Having filed a “friends of the court” brief in the Susan B. Anthony List case against the Ohio Election Commission, Life Legal Defense Foundation believes that Ohio’s outdated election laws violate the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech.

From their article:

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments relating to the free speech rights of the pro-life group, Susan B. Anthony List (SBA). The case comes before the high court for oral arguments Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The case, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, involves SBA’s efforts to expose taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare. When SBA attempted to erect billboards to educate former Representative Steve Driehaus’s constituents about his vote in support of taxpayer-funded abortion, it was thwarted by the Ohio Election Commission. The Commission threatened SBA with prosecution under an Ohio law proscribing “false” political speech if the organization advertised the fact that Driehaus had voted for taxpayer funding for abortion.

As implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has proceeded, it has become more and more evident that SBA’s message was far from false—yet they were chilled in the exercise of their right to free speech because of the threat presented by Ohio’s archaic, unconstitutional law.

Some of the abortion funding in the ACA can be summed up as follows: It provides an affordability tax credit for abortion; it makes direct appropriations for special health programs including abortion; and it provides subsidies for abortion in Congressional employee health plans. Research both from SBA’s education arm, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) as well as the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 6.1 million women will gain elective abortion coverage under Obamacare through the ACA’s affordability subsidies and the Medicaid expansions alone.

(con’t below)

Shame on Steve Driehaus billboard free speech Supreme Court

“This case is important to pro-life citizens on two levels,” comments Dana Cody, LLDF’s President and Executive Director. “First, this Ohio law is an unconstitutional bar to robust public debate and should be struck down. But secondly, even if the Ohio law is somehow constitutional, it had no application to SBA’s messaging here, because they were telling the truth. Obamacare funds abortion on an unprecedented level.”

NPR offers the reverse perspective with their coverage titled: “Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge To Ohio Ban On Campaign Lies”

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday testing whether states can make it a crime to lie about candidates during an election campaign.

At issue is an Ohio law that imposes potential jail time or a fine for the first offense, and possibly loss of the right to vote for anyone convicted twice. The case before the court, however, involves not a person, but an organization.

During the 2010 midterm elections, the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List wanted to put up a billboard ad targeting then-Rep. Steven Driehaus, D-Ohio, for his vote on the Affordable Care Act.

The ad said, “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.”

Full NPR article HERE

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  1. Supreme Court upholds free speech in Ohio billboard case - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Monday Today the United States Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment right to free speech as applied to pro-life political speech in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. The controversial case sprung from the Ohio election commission’s decision that the pro-life advocacy organization’s statements about an incumbent Congressman’s voting record were a violation of state law.  Here’s the original story. […]

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