September 22, 2015
To follow the path of COAST litigation can take a good memory and lots of patience. This blog entry is an update of the “Tweets” litigation from 2011.
In the November of that year, Rob Richardson, Jr. of Cincinnatians for Progress, the backers of the Cincinnati Streetcar, filed a complaint at the Ohio Elections Commission against COAST claiming certain tweets, communications on the social media platform Twitter, violated Ohio Elections Law. The Complaint claimed the statements were false, which could lead to imprisonment for up to six months under Ohio’s statutory scheme regulating elections speech.
The “Tweets” case was featured in this New York Times story.
COAST first defeated two different Complaints before the OEC and then filed suit in Federal District Court to have the oppressive statute and regulatory regime ruled unconstitutional.
That Federal case has had a circuitous path, with a denial of standing before Judge Michael R. Barrett and the 6th Circuit and a reversal and remand by the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately sending the case back to the trial court. Today, Judge Barrett issued another “win” for COAST in that case. You may read that decision here.