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updated: 4/22/2014 11:05 AM

Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is expressing serious doubts about the constitutionality of an Ohio law that bars people from making false statements about political candidates during a campaign.

Most of the justices during argument at the high court Tuesday appeared likely to let an anti-abortion group move ahead with a challenge to the law as a violation of free-speech rights.

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The case has attracted widespread attention, with liberal and conservative groups saying it has a chilling effect on political speech.

The case began during the 2010 election, when the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List accused an Ohio congressman of supporting taxpayer-funded abortion because he backed the new health care law. The congressman claimed the group's billboard ads violated the speech law.

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