The Ohio Attorney General argued against its own election-related speech law in a brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
In Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether two organizations can challenge an Ohio law that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements about a candidate for office or ballot proposition.
Rather than defend the law, the Ohio Attorney General admitted it “raise[s] a number of potential constitutional issues.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s friend-of-the-court brief noted that candidates can easily file a claim under the law against a speaker and then withdraw the complaint after the election, forcing the speaker into silence even if the speech was true. The Ohio Attorney General urged the Court to rule that the issue was “ripe” for review and that the organizations have standing to challenge the statute.