Today, the Susan B. Anthony List responded to a federal judge’s decision to reject its request to issue a temporary restraining order against the Ohio Elections Commission proceedings instigated by Rep. Steve Driehaus. The Susan B. Anthony List’s case was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, which submitted an 18-page amicus brief on its behalf, stating:
The ACLU of Ohio urges that this Court grant Plaintiff—Susan B. Anthony List’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction due to the fact that Ohio Revised Code 3517.21(B)(9) and (10) are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and have the effect of chilling the Susan B. Anthony List’s right to freedom speech.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:
Nothing in today’s ruling changes the fact that Rep. Steve Driehaus voted for a health care bill that provides for taxpayer funding of abortion. We agree with the Ohio ACLU that the Ohio law allowing Driehaus’ case to proceed effectively gives a state agency the ability to police free speech. Steve Driehaus does not want his constituents to hear that he voted for a bill that provides for tax dollars to pay for abortions, but the fact that he did is a position held by the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ohio Right to Life and numerous other organizations and policy experts. We will pursue this case to the end and are confident the truth will prevail.
Rep. Steve Driehaus filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission on Tuesday, October 6th alleging that the Susan B. Anthony List is falsely accusing him of voting for taxpayer funding of abortion as a result of his vote in support of health care legislation. The complaint was spurred by the Susan B. Anthony List’s intention to put up four billboards across his congressional district. Rep. Driehaus’ attorney convinced Lamar Companies to not to put up the billboards in order to avoid being added to the complaint. The Election Commission’s staff attorney recommended that Driehaus’ complaint be dismissed, but a probable cause panel of the Commission voted 2 to 1 to hold a full hearing to decide if SBA List broke Ohio law by putting false statements on its billboards. The billboards are still not up. Last Tuesday, the SBA List announced a $50,000 radio ad buy across Rep. Driehaus’ district to spread its message.