This was a First Amendment case involving an Ohio law giving the Ohio Election Commission the power to “proclaim” the alleged truth or falsity of statements during political campaigns. Taking a page out of Orwell’s novel 1984, and dubbed the “Ministry of Truth” by its critics, the law permits the government to decide what can and cannot be said about it. CLDEF’s brief argued that in the United States the people — not the government — are sovereign, and the government has no power whatsoever to decide truth and falsity. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson declared that “the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction.” This case resulted in a successful outcome in the Supreme Court, and on remand, the district court struck down the Ohio statute.
CLDEF Amicus Curiae Brief (March 3, 2014)
Oral Argument (April 22, 2014) transcript