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Monday, April 28, 2014

Susan B. Anthony, Meet William H. Rehnquist

How much chilling of political speech does the Constitution permit, when a politician allegedly stretches the truth to make a point? That is one way to think about the meaning behind the words of the actual, drier questions presented in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus.

Would the questions, or the answers, be any different if the speech were judicial, with a Justice doing the stretching? I have a little article out suggesting that sometimes such a truth-elastic statement -- even one made to a major media outlet by the Chief Justice of the United States on behalf of the entire Supreme Court -- can be quite appropriate, and even kind of funny.

Drawing a line between criminal truthiness and the other kind is not going to be easy for the Justices.

Posted by Ross Davies on April 28, 2014 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

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