The American Civil Liberties Union

is supporting the Susan B. Anthony List in Congressman Driehaus’s attempt to shut them up in Ohio. SBA List went to federal court on Monday looking for a ruling on the constitutionality of the law Driehaus is using against them. ACLU has filed an amicus brief in support of SBA List today. It reads, in part:

 “[The law] RC 3517.21(B) is vague and overbroad, and it cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.  The statute fails for the same reasons that the Sedition Act has been condemned by history. The people have an absolute right to criticize their public officials, the government should not be the arbiter of true or false speech and, in any event, the best answer for bad speech is more speech.  For all of these reasons, Amicus ACLU of Ohio urges this Court to hold RC 3517.21(B) unconstitutional and grants Plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.”

Reasonable people can should be able to have a debate about issues without shutting it down. But Driehaus wants to shut down the debate. Kudos to the ACLU (which would probably prefer a Congressman Driehaus to a Congressman Chabot) for sticking up for speech here.

Kathryn Jean Lopez — Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and an editor-at-large of National Review. Sign up for her weekly NRI newsletter here. This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.

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