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Defending ‘truthiness’ in political speech

Posted by Richard on March 5, 2014

Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus is going before the Supreme Court. It’s a free speech case in which the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List challenges an Ohio campaign law criminalizing false statements about politicians. During the 2010 campaign, SBA List claimed that Rep. Steven Driehaus’ vote for Obamacare amounted to a vote for taxpayer-funded abortions. This was an illegal false statement according to Driehaus.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Some folks associated with the Cato Institute, including P.J. O’Rourke, have filed an amici curiae brief in the case (PDF). It provides by far the most entertaining reading the Supremes will encounter all year. Here’s a sample:

In modern times, “truthiness” — a “truth” asserted “from the gut” or because “it feels right,” without regard to evidence or logic — is also a key part of political discourse. It is difficult to imagine life without it, and our political discourse is weakened by Orwellian laws that try to prohibit it.

After all, where would we be without the knowledge that Democrats are pinko-communist flag-burners who want to tax churches and use the money to fund abortions so they can use the fetal stem cells to create pot-smoking lesbian ATF agents who will steal all the guns and invite the UN to take over America? Voters have to decide whether we’d be better off electing Republicans, those hateful, assault-weapon-wielding maniacs who believe that George Washington and Jesus Christ incorporated the nation after a Gettysburg reenactment and that the only thing wrong with the death penalty is that it isn’t administered quickly enough to secular-humanist professors of Chicano studies.

HT: Steven Hayward

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