According to the story, "Banning Truthiness?" by On The Media the Supreme Court listened to oral arguments, this week, in Susan B. Anthony List vs. Driehaus, a case hinging on whether it can be made illegal to lie during a political campaign.
However, in reality Driehaus, and other anti-abortion Democrats, supported the health care bill only after President Obama agreed to include a passage that specified insurance plans in the health care exchanges would not use tax dollars for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman would be endangered. The "List" was forced, by Ohio's law, to take down the ad. Presently, the organization is challenging the constitutionality of the ban on political misinformation in front of The Supreme Court.
The case seems straight forward to me. Driehaus' voting pattern is part of the official Congressional record, and The Susan B. Anthony List claimed something contrary to the documented facts in order to influence the masses. In my mind, lying in order to influence others is fraud. However, my mind doesn't hold much weight in Washington.
On June 28th, in a 6 to 3 vote, the court struck down the 2006 federal law, "The Stolen Valor Act," which made it a crime to lie about receiving a military medal. The ruling overturned the conviction of Xavier Alvarez who was elected to a California water board in Pomona, after falsely advertising himself as a retired Marine and winner of the Medal of Honor, the country's highest military award.
Essentially, the Justices said that The First Amendment gave Alvarez the right to lie about his background. Now, The Susan B. Anthony List is also arguing that freedom of speech equates to a right to lie.
Personally, I have a different view of The First Amendment. I've always belonged to the camp which maintains that freedom of speech allows people to say what they believe, without fear of official reprisal. In other words, if I believe my cat is God, I can stand in Pioneer Square and tell passers by, "My cat is God," and no official action can be taken against me. However, the moment I KNOW my cat is just feline my message is no longer protected, because I know it's a lie.
Again, Driehaus' voting pattern is part of the official Congressional record. Thus, The Susan B. Anthony List had evidence their claim was a lie. Therefore, according to my legal theory, their false statement isn't protected by the constitution.
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews including 1.5 million Jewish children in Europe by the Nazi regime and its collaborators that took place between 1933-1945.
Multiple photos of abuse and mass graves, and volumes of eye witness testimony, exist to prove these atrocities occurred. Yet, there are those among us who will look you in the eye and tell you the Holocaust never happened. Are they delusional? Yes. Are they lying? Not as long as they believe it. Thus, their speech is protected.
There's the rub. When people can believe the ridiculous, even when presented with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the legal standard to distinguish between belief & lie becomes murky at best. Given this fuzziness, the court must side with the List, acknowledging the possibility, however unlikely, that they honestly believed their message.
Such a ruling, while initially disappointing, may protect us in the long run. If the court ruled that speaking contrary to the preponderance of the evidence constitutes a lie, evolutionists could conceivably label worshipers, such as me, as liars for ignoring, what they see as, overwhelming evidence to the contrary.