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Supreme Court weighs ban on false statements about political candidates during campaigns

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  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    April 16, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Free speech aside, if a movie star can sue a publication for false statements, and win, then why not a politician? Many statements about politicians are merely a points of view. However, if a politician were accused of a crime they didn't commit, say selling drugs, and were accused of such with no evidence that would hold up in court, then it would seem that the liable, slander laws should be in play. Why would a politican not have such protection when even movie stars and other public figures have them?

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    I don't feel you should be able to lie about your competitor just to get votes. Myself as well as many others, really do want to elect the person that we feel would represent us best, but it's really hard to know because both sides always lie!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    This looks like a job, for Superman!

    TRUTH, Justice, and the American way!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see how the court rules.

    I find it funny that the quotes the Cato Institute in the brief ridiculing the law would use quotes FROM candidates rather than untruths ABOUT candidates - and the quote from Nixon was not when he was a candidate. Their quotes were totally out of place and missed the point.

    If truth were required in talking about your opponents, the dems will need to re-tool their entire campaign strategy and the MSM will need to reqork their entire business model.

    Too bad there is so much dishonesty that the law was even enacted.

  • Middle of the Road Home Town USA, UT
    April 16, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    Contracts made in the U.S. are supposed to be the TRUTH, say for instance with loans made and the exact numbers to protect the consumer.

    What is the difference here? The ACA should be voided when it was based on fraudulent information to veil the TRUTH. We have been silent on the injustice of this too long. Something needs to be done, and soon.

    Politicians should be held to a standard of truth. Untruths are damaging and unnecessary. Freedom of speech is not warranted when lies slander, and defamation of character is evident.

    Too much of that is acceptable these days, and needs to be corrected.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 16, 2014 7:52 p.m.

    If the SCOTUS makes it illegal for politicians to lie then what will Democrats do to win elections? Remember the lies they told about Romney, ACA, IRS abuses, fast and furious, Benghazi, NSA, the second amendment, etc., etc., etc.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    April 17, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    Mountanman

    I agree, but let's face it. Lies have been told about Democrats too. I think it should be illegal to lie about anybody. If that were the case, I do believe people like Romney would come out best though, so it does make one wonder if Democrats would want this law, as it would take away one of their best political tools to beat Republicans.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    April 17, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    It would put Fox News out of business .

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 17, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Sergio. What lies have you heard on Fox news? Please give us specific examples to back up your assertion.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    @Mountainman: On August 18, 2000, journalist Jane Akre won $425,000 in a court ruling where she charged she was pressured by Fox News management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information.

    In February 2003, Fox appealed the decision and an appellate court and had it overturned. Fox lawyers argued it was their first amendment right to report false information. In a six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals decided the FCC’s position against news distortion is only a “policy,” not a “law, rule, or regulation.”

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 17, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    The Democrats would come out ahead if a law banned false statements about opposition candidates.

    After all, much of what Republicans believe is completely false, and lies about Democrats are accepted as gospel.

    If Republicans were compelled to not lie about Democrats, they would lose their very reason for being.

    There is no way a Right-leaning supreme court would pass a law that robs Republicans of their primary weapon.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    HVH,
    thank you for the documentation. now will you also tell us about how NBC news lied in their report about Chevy trucks blowing up (maybe it was Ford, I don't exactly remember)? remember how they had to publicly apologize on air for their lies and distortions, how they had to admit what they did to get the truck to blow up with a side collision because they could not get to explode with just impact as they accused? I am not trying to excuse Fox, but NBC is much worse.

    GaryO,
    where is there a right-leaning supreme court? we certainly do not have one here. Certainly not the SCOTUS

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    I don't like this idea. While it would be great to have politicians tell the truth, this law is nothing more than a tool to eliminate your competitor. It wouldn't be hard to dig up a few tidbits on your opponent and get them arrested and tossed out.

    To "GaryO" actually, we would lose the most liberal politicians.

    For example Harry Reid claimed that Romney had not filed taxes for years. The facts were already out there showing that he had.

    Obama claimed that he called Benghazi a terrorist act only a few days after it occured. The transcripts state otherwise. Obama claimed that Romney was an elitist, yet when you look into Romney's character he was more grounded with the middleclass than Obama could ever hope to be.

    The point I am making is that the most powerful liberals would be thrown in jail, and we would have to build new jails just to house them.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 18, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic:

    What was that false statement?

    Give some examples of false statements.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 18, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic:

    In 2005 the New York Times reported that "after an appellate court overturned a ruling in favor of Ms. Akre, the couple paid their former employer at least $150,000 to cover legal fees.