McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334, 3 (1995)

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336

McINTYRE v. OHIO ELECTIONS COMM'N

Opinion of the Court

torneys General, Richard A. Cordray, State Solicitor, and Simon B. Karas.*

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question presented is whether an Ohio statute that prohibits the distribution of anonymous campaign literature is a "law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" within the meaning of the First Amendment.1

*Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the State of Tennessee et al. by Charles W. Burson, Attorney General of Tennessee, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Michael W. Catalano, and by the Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: Jimmy Evans of Alabama, Bruce M. Botelho of Alaska, Winston Bryant of Arkansas, Gale A. Norton of Colorado, Charles M. Oberly III of Delaware, Robert A. Butterworth of Florida, Larry EchoHawk of Idaho, Roland W. Burris of Illinois, Pamela Fanning Carter of Indiana, Chris Gorman of Kentucky, Richard P. Ieyoub of Louisiana, Frank J. Kelley of Michigan, Hubert H. Humphrey III of Minnesota, Mike Moore of Mississippi, Joseph P. Mazurek of Montana, Frankie Sue Del Papa of Nevada, Jeffrey R. Howard of New Hampshire, Deborah T. Poritz of New Jersey, Michael F. Easley of North Carolina, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Susan B. Loving of Oklahoma, T. Travis Medlock of South Carolina, Mark Barnett of South Dakota, and Jeffrey L. Amestoy of Vermont; and for the Council of State Governments et al. by Richard Ruda and Lee Fennell.

Charles H. Bell, Jr., and Robert E. Leidigh filed a brief for the California Political Attorneys Association as amicus curiae.

1 The term "liberty" in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution makes the First Amendment applicable to the States. The Fourteenth Amendment reads, in relevant part: "No State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . ." U. S. Const., Amdt. 14, 1. Referring to that Clause in his separate opinion in Whitney v. California, 274 U. S. 357 (1927), Justice Brandeis stated that "all fundamental rights comprised within the term liberty are protected by the Federal Constitution from invasion by the States. The right of free speech, the right to teach and the right of assembly are, of course, fundamental rights." Id., at 373 (concurring opinion). Although the text of the First Amendment provides only that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . ," Justice Brandeis' view has been embedded in our law ever since. See First Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U. S. 765, 779-780 (1978); see also Stevens, The Bill of Rights: A Century of Progress, 59 U. Chi. L. Rev. 13, 20, 25-26 (1992).

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