1994-02-24 - Supreme Court on Anonymity

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From: nobody@shell.portal.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
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UTC Datetime: 1994-02-24 06:44:45 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 23 Feb 94 22:44:45 PST

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From: nobody@shell.portal.com
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 94 22:44:45 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Supreme Court on Anonymity
Message-ID: <199402240645.WAA06221@jobe.shell.portal.com>
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- From today's (February 23) New York Times (quoted without permission):

By Linda Greenhouse

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22: The Supreme Court agreed today to decide whether 
states can ban the distribution of anonymous campaign literature.

   The case is an appeal by an Ohio woman who was fined under the state's 
election law for distributing leaflets, signed only by "concerned parents 
and taxpayers," urging the defeat of a local tax referendum. At stake is 
the constitutional balance between the free speech rights protected under 
the First Amendment and a state's interest in guarding against election 
   Half of the states, including Connecticut and New Jersey, have laws 
similar to Ohio's. While the Supreme court has never discussed anonymous 
leaflets in the context of election laws, it did rule in 1960 that the 
organizers of a consumer boycott directed at racially biased mechants could 
not be required to identify themselves on their literature. Historically, 
persecuted or unpopular groups have "been able to criticized oppressive 
practices and laws either anonymously or not at all," the court said in 
that decision, Talley v. California.
   On the other hand, the Court has granted the states more latitude to 
restrict speech as part of election regulations, recently upholding bans on 
write-in voting and on electioneering near polling places. The Ohio Supreme 
Court, in ruling last year to uphold the ban on anonymous leaflets, said 
the state law was consistent with the Supreme Court's view that speech 
could be limited to deter voter fraud.

   Interesting, eh?

faust's dog

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