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The Constitution of Electoral Speech LawThe Supreme Court and Freedom of Expression in Campaigns and Elections$
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Brian K. Pinaire

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757249

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757249.001.0001

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McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission

McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission

Chapter:
(p.151) Chapter 6 McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission
Source:
The Constitution of Electoral Speech Law
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804757249.003.0007

This chapter examines McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, inspired by Margaret McIntyre's refusal to pay a $100 fine for distributing “anonymous” fliers outside a school board meeting in the midst of a campaign over a school tax levy, and in violation of the state's electoral code requiring that election materials contain the name and business address of the party responsible for the literature. While the state defended its provision as necessary to police fraud, to facilitate libel prosecutions, and to serve the public interest in disclosure during political campaigns, the Court considered her case in light of a long and storied tradition of anonymous political discourse in Western society and issued a ruling with potentially vast implications for multiple constitutional domains. In its essence,McIntyre involved the intersection—or clash—of individual privacy and autonomy claims and the state's (and/or public's) interests in having “sunlight” serve as a deterrent for scurrilous speech.

Keywords:   political campaigning, electoral code, election materials, free speech, privacy, autonomy

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