Distribution of anonymous political flyers
On April 27, 1988, Margaret McIntyre passed out flyers outside
a school where a public meeting was being held to discuss
an increase in school taxes. McIntyre’s flyers urged people
not to vote for the tax increase. The flyer was signed “Concerned
Parents and Taxpayers” but did not give the name or address
of the individual(s) issuing the literature.
A school official complained, and McIntyre was charged with
violating an Ohio state law against distributing anonymous
literature about election issues. The law required that the
name and address of a person or organization be printed on
all campaign pamphlets, flyers, brochures, etc. The law was
to protect candidates and voters from anonymous libelous or
false information that might unfairly influence the results
of an election. However, it applied to all anonymous literature,
even if was not libelous or obviously false.
- Is this speech protected?
- If not, what harm might occur as a result of the speech?
- What value or right is conflicting with free speech in this