It seems that it’s unconstitutional to outlaw lying:
A federal judge on Friday struck down Ohio’s law barring people from knowingly or recklessly making false statements about candidates in a case the US Supreme Court said needed to be heard.
US District Judge Timothy Black ruled Ohio’s law unconstitutional and prohibited the Ohio Elections Commission from enforcing it.
I sympathize a bit with the case this is based on:
The case began after then-US Representative Steve Driehaus filed a complaint when the group planned to post billboards claiming the Democrat’s support for President Obama’s health care overhaul equated with support for abortion, even though he opposed abortion.
I’m not sure if I want a jury to decide if political statements are true unless it’s pretty obvious. But the judge’s reasoning is highly stupid:
The judge said the answer to false statements in politics is ‘‘not to force silence, but to encourage truthful speech in response, and to let the voters, not the government, decide what the political truth is.’’
There are some cases where a party obviously lies and the judge is saying that there should be no consequences except to say that they’re lying–obviously if the liar has a lot more money than it’s more likely to be accepted than the truth.
And wouldn’t you just know that the purported liars are anti-abortion activists–they love, for example, saying that having an abortion causes depression even though the evidence shows it does not.