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SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT.

"Government has no business trying to stop political candidates from deliberately lying about each other in campaign ads, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In the 5-4 decision upholding a lower-court ruling, the high court said a state law aimed at punishing political candidates for false advertising is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. "There can be no doubt that false personal attacks are too common in political campaigns, with wide-ranging detrimental consequences," Justice Jim Johnson wrote for the majority. "However, government censorship ... is not a constitutionally permitted remedy."

But in a sharply worded dissent, Justice Barbara Madsen called the majority's ruling "an invitation to lie with impunity. ... It is little wonder that so many view political campaigns with distrust and cynicism."

Local News | Split court says candidates can lie | Seattle Times Newspaper



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