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Standing For Me…

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I think the Supreme Court was correct to allow the First Amendment challenge against Ohio’s ban on lying in political campaigns to proceed although the complaint had been dropped.  It would be nice, however, if the have Republican appointees in the majority didn’t use a Catch-22 to deny standing to litigants mounting an even more important First Amendment challenge.  A comparison of the two decisions is an excellent illustration of how conservative judges tend to adjust their First Amendment-related jurisprudence based largely on whether they like the speakers. 

I also think Epps is right on the merits:

And that—who decides—is the First Amendment issue behind this case. There is no clear “right to lie,” but a lot of precedent—and simple common sense—suggest it’s a bad idea to allow government officials to determine truth and threaten designated “liars” with jail. In fact, the existence of the law affects politics, even if no one is ever prosecuted; candidates can complain, get a “probable cause” ruling, and then proclaim that an opponent or critic has “lied.”

If you think that criminalizing lies in political campaigns is a good idea, I would urge you to consider PolitiFact’s 2011 Lie of the Year.

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