Holding of the U.S. Supreme Court on Anonymous free speech
McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission
Citation: 514 U.S. 334 (1995)
Facts of the Case:
On April 27, 1988, Margaret McIntyre distributed leaflets to persons attending a public meeting in Ohio expressing her opposition to a proposed school tax levy. Though they were independently produced, she signed them as the views of "Concerned Parents and Tax Payers." Mrs. McIntyre was subsequently fined $100 for violating Section 3599.09(A) of the Ohio Elections Commission Code prohibiting the distribution of campaign literature that does not contain the name and address of the person or campaign official issuing the literature.
Does the prohibition of the distribution of anonymous campaign literature abridge freedom of speech as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments?
Yes. The freedom to publish anonymously is protected by the First Amendment and "extends beyond the literary realm to the advocacy of political causes." When a law burdens such anonymous speech, the Court applies "exacting scrutiny," upholding the restriction only if it is narrowly tailored to serve an overriding state interest.
There are exceptions to the anonymous free speech, but you must read the Oral Arguments to know what they are, in essence, anything that is not true, libel, slander, fraud, etc and a few others. Folks must be responsible for what they say, print, and do with respect to exercising their First Amendment rights. So, read and understand the concepts of what the Justices are saying.
These are the often cited cases lawyers use when defending sex offenders on their issues. Many of these have direct links to the Oral Arguments. It is my intent to bring these cases together over time. Should anyone have other relevant cases that can be added, please forward them.
Issue: U.S. Constitution:
Apparently a federal agency is charged with updating the U.S. Constitution regularly as new cases construe it. See 2002 w/supplements.
Issue: Sex Offender Registration:
Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe 3-5-2003 Question:
Does the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause require that persons convicted of sexual offenses subject to Connecticut's "Megan's Law" receive a hearing before the public disclosure of their registry? See this: Decision
Note: 2nd circuit Appellate case that was the basis for this U.S. Supreme court case was DOE v PUBLIC SAFETY
Smith v. Doe 3-5-2003 Question:
Does the Ex Post Facto Clause of Article I Section 10 prohibit the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act's registration requirement as a retroactive punishment?
Note: 9th circuit Appellate case that was the basis for this U.S. Supreme court case was JOHN DOE I, JANE DOE, and JOHN DOE II v OTTE and BOTELHO
Issue: Ex Post Facto Clause:
Stogner v. California 6-26-2003 Question:
Does the Ex Post Facto Clause bar the application of California's retroactive extension of the statutes of limitations for sexual offenses committed against minors?
Carmell v. Texas 5-1-2000 Question:
Does an amended Texas statute that authorizes the conviction of sexual offenses on the victim's testimony alone, whereas the statute previously required the victim's testimony along with corroborating evidence, violate the constitutional prohibition against State "ex post facto" laws when applied in a trial for offenses committed before the amendment's effective date?
Department Of Revenue Of Montana v. Kurth Ranch 6-6-1994 Question: Missing but see decision here and here.
IN RE MEDLEY 3-3-1890 Question:
In essence, a death row prisoner was sentenced under laws that permitted certain visistation rights, however, under the new law those rights are to be denied. Excellent example of a violation of ex post facto clause construing those visitation rights denied as further punishment.
Cummings v. Missouri 1-14-1867 Question:
Do the state and national oaths violate prohibitions against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder of the Constitution?
CALDER v. BULL 8-1-1798 Question:
This is the source of all ex post facto cases: The court holding a law is a ex post facto violation if any of the following have occurred:
1st. Every law that makes an action , done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action.
Issue: Punishment Yes/No:
Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez 2-18-1963 Question:
Did Section 401(j) of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, divesting U.S. citizens of their citizenship for remaining outside the United States during a time of war or national emergency in order to avoid the draft, violate the procedural safeguard of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments?
Issue: Civil Commitment:
Kansas v. Crane 1-22-2002 Question:
Did the Kansas Supreme Court interpret Kansas v. Hendricks in an overly restrictive manner by ruling that it requires a finding that a sexual offender, who has only an emotional or personality disorder, rather than a volitional impairment, has an inability to control dangerous behavior?
Kansas v. Hendricks 6-23-1997 Question:
Did the Act's civil commitment provisions, based on its definition of what constitutes a "mental abnormality," violate substantive due process and double jeopardy requirements?
Issue: Due Process:
Lambert v. California 12-16-1957 Question: No question in Oyez, but see opinion here and here
Issue: Anonymous free speech:
McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission 1995: "“Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.”"
Issue: Plea Bargains (Contracts / Sacrosanct):
Santobello v. New York 12-20-1971 Question: No question in Oyez but see opinion here and here
Robinson v. California 6-25-1962Question: Was the California law an infliction of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment? See also: HERE
Facts of the Case
A California statute made it a criminal offense for a person to "be addicted to the use of narcotics." Lawrence Robinson was convicted under the law, which required a sentence of at least ninety days in jail. A state appellate court affirmed Robinson's conviction on appeal.
In a 6-to-2 decision, the Court held that laws imprisoning persons afflicted with the "illness" of narcotic addiction inflicted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court likened the law to one making it a criminal offense "to be mentally ill, or a leper, or to be afflicted with a venereal disease," and argued that the state could not punish persons merely because of their "status" of addiction. The Court noted that the law was not aimed at the purchase, sale, or possession of illegal drugs.
Issue: Fourth Amendment:
Katz v. United States 12-18-1967Question:
Does the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures require the police to obtain a search warrant in order to wiretap a public pay phone?
Issue: Privacy of Home:
Silverman v. United States 3-6-1961 Question: No question in Oyez but see opinion here and here
Issue: Protecting Home Addressees & Phone Numbers:
United States Department Of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations Authority 2-23-1994 Question: No question in Oyez, but see opinion here and here
Paul P. v. Verniero, 170 F.3d 396, 404 (3d Cir. 1999). and here.
See New Jersey's Report on Home Addresses and Telephone Numbers dated 12-20-2004.
Seling v. Young 1-17-2001 Question:
May an act, found to be civil, be deemed punitive "as applied" to an individual in violation of the Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses, thereby providing a cause for release?
Foucha v. Louisiana 5-18-1992 Question: Missing but see decision here and
U.S. Court forms
For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)
14 hours ago