lab 9/Doe v. Freedonia Election Board
You have just been appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States! Your mother must be so proud! But now you must get to work! Here are the facts of your first case:
Doe v. Freedonia Election Board
(Freedonia was recently admitted as a new state. What? You don’t watch the news?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsw9jYU_rJI
(This is a real case – the names have been changed so you can’t look it up! Don’t try to find it even if you think you can.)
Jane Doe opposed a local school board bond issue. She printed leaflets arguing against the bond issue and signed them “Concerned Parents and Taxpayers.” She was acting alone and not as part of any real group. She then distributed these leaflets at a meeting of the school board.
She was informed by the Superintendent of Schools that “anonymous” leaflets were a violation of state election law. The law requires that all political documents identify their source.
At another meeting she continued to distribute the leaflets and the Superintendent filed a complaint with the state Election Board. The Election Board brought criminal action against Jane Doe. She was found guilty of breaking the state election law and fined $100.00.
Jane Doe has appealed her conviction on the grounds that the state election law violates her First Amendment rights to free speech. Her attorney points out that the Federalist Papers were first published anonymously.
The attorney for the state Election Board points out that in order to see that the elections are fair and that everyone stays within the state spending limits they must be able to identify the source of campaign materials. (A wealthy candidate could easily violate spending limits and make the election unfair.) Both federal and state laws require some level of accountability for spending.
The State Supreme Court of Fredonia ruled in favor of the Election Board saying that the requirement of identifying the source of campaign materials was a reasonable way to enforce the law. They also noted that it would help to prevent fraud or false advertising if the source had to be identified.
Jane Doe appealed that decision to the US Supreme Court. You have granted certiorari and have heard the oral arguments.
Decide how you would rule and write your opinion giving the constitutional reasons for your ruling.
Your opinion should be substantive and make reference to constitutional principles and facts about campaign finance regulations
Is this question part of your Assignment?
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