Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wait, Wait: Ohio law against lies meets 1st Amendment

Rady Ananda
Activist Post

Having served as a paralegal for a couple decades, and later as a writer who follows Supreme Court decisions on food and other matters, like most of the public, I’ve found their decisions inordinately dry, even amid their life-changing effects.  So, when a friend passed on a link to a Friend-of-the-Court (amicus) brief in a recent First Amendment case against an Ohio law that criminalizes political speech, I expected more snooze material.

I was delightedly wrong. The brief was co-written by political satirist, P. J. O’Rourke who’s often a guest on NPR’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me.

The question discussed is, Can a state government criminalize political statements that are less than 100% truthful?