KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

High Court Allows Anti-Abortion Groups To Challenge Ohio Law Banning False Speech

The Ohio campaign law makes it illegal to lie about political candidates. The case originated after the Susan B. Anthony List accused Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus of voting for "taxpayer-funded abortion" because he supported the Affordable Care Act. But he said the claims were false because both the health law and a related presidential order prohibit federal abortion funding.

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Ruling Revives Challenge To Ban On False Political Speech
The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously held that two conservative groups can continue their challenge to an Ohio campaign law making it illegal to lie about political candidates. … Lawyers in the case said they expected it would proceed to trial in a federal district court later this year. "It's the first step toward a true victory for the First Amendment," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. … The case originated after the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Susan B. Anthony List planned to run a billboard accusing Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Cincinnati Democrat who supported the health-care overhaul, of voting for "taxpayer-funded abortion." Mr. Driehaus, who was running for re-election, said the claims were false because both the health law and a related presidential order prohibit federal abortion funding (Bravin, 6/16).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: High Court Rules Anti-Abortion Group Can Sue Over Election 'Truth-Telling' Law
A group challenging an Ohio election law that makes it a crime to make "false statements" about a candidate's record during a campaign has standing to challenge the constitutionality of that law, according to today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision. The opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, did NOT strike down Ohio's false statement law. But it did hold that the Susan B. Anthony List demonstrated "a sufficiently imminent injury" from potential prosecution under the law that it can challenge it in federal court (Rovner, 6/16).

The New York Times: Supreme Court Rules Against 'Straw' Purchases of Guns
The case was brought by Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, and Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes. … Mr. Driehaus filed a complaint against the anti-abortion group with the Ohio Elections Commission, which makes preliminary determinations and can recommend criminal prosecutions. It issued a finding of probable cause that the group had violated the law (Liptak, 6/16). 

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