February 3, 2015
On the heels of Judge Black’s historic decision striking down Ohio’s false claims statute as a violation of the First Amendment, a Plaintiff in Massachusetts is challenging the constitutionality of a similar statute in that state.
There, the statute calls for direct criminal prosecution of those who are claimed to have made a false statement during the course of a political campaign. In contrast, in Ohio, there first must be a proceeding and finding of violation before the Ohio Elections Commission. Indeed, the Plaintiff in the Massachusetts action has been charged criminally for a claimed false statement made about a candidate during the course of an election campaign.
The Boston Globe reports that noted Constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe of Harvard says of the law: “It’s dramatically unconstitutional in its sweep….This is an easy one.”
Read the entire story here.