The Ottumwa Courier

April 16, 2014

Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

HOPE YEN Associated Press SAM HANANEL , Associated Press
Ottumwa Courier

---- — WASHINGTON (AP) — Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime?

That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justices consider a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign.

The case has attracted national attention, with groups across the political spectrum criticizing the law as a restriction on the First Amendment right to free speech.

The high court is not expected to rule directly on the constitutional issue but will focus on whether the law can be challenged before it is actually enforced.