Anyone can sue anyone, but this is ridiculous. Voters in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District did not reelect first term Democrat Steve Driehaus (D-OH). So, rather than leave office gracefully, he chose to sue! He filed a lawsuit against the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), a group that supports pro-life candidates for Congress. It has also been one of the most effective organizations involved in the fight to stop federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Driehaus is suing the Susan B. Anthony List under a Ohio’s False Statement Law for “loss of livelihood.” Driehaus’s suit is breaking new legal ground, and may already be inhibiting political speech. It goes directly at the heart of our First Amendment protections, and criminalizes what is a difference of opinion. The Susan B. Anthony List’s characterization of Driehaus as unconcerned with protecting the pro-life stance is not unfounded. One cannot be mad at the facts. So, as long as the attacks are not outright lies, then they are protected under the First Amendment. Driehaus’ lawsuit has absolutely no claim on which to stand.
Driehaus first filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, but he dropped the complaint in mid-November, 2010. He then filed a federal lawsuit. “I have chosen to proceed against the SBA List in federal court because the issue at stake goes beyond the purview of the Ohio Elections Commission,” Driehaus said. “As more and more interests are able to anonymously spend unlimited sums of money in attempts to defame public servants and influence our elections, it is imperative that groups such as the SBA List be held to account for their behavior. Lies have consequences.” There are many things said during political campaigns that subsequently prove untrue. What the Susan B. Anthony List said about pro-life Democrats, such as Driehaus, who gave Obama the votes he needed to pass healthcare just doesn’t happen to be one of them.
Driehaus claims that what the Susan B. Anthony List said in its public communications amounted to a malicious lie that contributed to his defeat. What is most amazing is that, rather than laugh the suit out of court, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black, an Obama appointee, is allowing it to go forward. And Judge Timothy Black is the former president and director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati. Why he doesn’t recuse himself from this case is a mystery. We can question Black’s ability to be impartial if he used to head up the local affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Association.
The Susan B. Anthony List must now pay an attorney to defend against this lawsuit. I think the time has come for the lawsuit loser to pay ALL court proceedings and reimburse the winner’s expenses. Further, why has the MSM has largely ignored this case.
But that’s just my opinion.