The Supreme Court is set to address whether the age-old act of political mudslinging and false accusations are a crime, with the fate — or at least the tone — of campaign attack ads at stake.
The case brings into conflict two deeply held constitutional values: the right of wide open and unlimited speech, particularly in a political realm, and the notion of protecting the truth — especially when a person’s charter character is maligned.
The high court on Tuesday is scheduled to hear oral arguments for Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, which centers on a dispute between former Rep. Steve Driehaus and the anti-abortion group, which waged an aggressive attack on the Ohio Democrat’s failed re-election bid in 2010.
The group tried to post billboards in Driehaus’ Cincinnati-area district accusing him of supporting “taxpayer-funded” abortions when he voted for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act months earlier.
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