So, ATS, I ask....What are the limits of free speech? Should there BE any limits to it, where it's political speech? Is it fair to say a major focus
of creating the 1st Amendment was, in reality, protected political speech?
It seems the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to bring clarification to this matter on a case they've just decided to take up.
(CN) - The Supreme Court agreed Friday to determine if groups challenging an Ohio law that criminalizes false political speech must prove they
face a credible threat of prosecution.
Ohio law makes it a crime to "post, publish, circulate, distribute or otherwise disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate" or ballot
initiative knowingly or with "reckless disregard."
What precisely is at issue in this case? Well, it's nothing special to what I've seen in other states, along side interstate highways. In fact, it's
downright tame by that standard.
The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, ran afoul of the provisions with a planned billboard criticizing Rep. Steven Driehaus for
supporting the Affordable Care Act. The sign would have read: "Shame on Steven Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded
Now, agree or not with the message, or even hate the debate with a passion that vibrates? None of that matters, as the example for Supreme Court level
is never about the specific individuals and issue itself. That's not the job of the Supreme Court. It's the job of lower courts to handle the tens of
thousands of such cases each year. The Supreme Court's job is to serve as final authority, as they are, for interpretation of cases and case law where
Constitutional matters are in some form of conflict.
The conflict posed here is self evident, again, regardless of personal feelings for the issue sitting as the example. Should the State have the right
to tell someone they cannot express their political views as they perceive and interpret that to be, with the rest of the general public?
To look at this another way, have we fallen so far in this nation for critical thinking and rational analysis through daily life that we require the
state to actively silence people who may....just may...be flat wrong in their thinking but sincere in their desires or wishes to express it?
If so...who is the ultimate arbiter of what is accurate, what is biased and what is proper? Attorneys threatening legal action, as happened here?
State laws..as this case is about? Citizens Committees perhaps? Even if censoring B.S. is considered right by society, it's how that gets defined that
always leaves a Constitutional path to achieve it impossible to find, IMO.
What does everyone think? Is political speech free or should it carry a big * to see footnotes?
edit on 11-1-2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: Captain Typo Strikes Again