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The Judicial Discourse in the Handling of Political Misinformation (and Disinformation)

  • Robert N. Spicer
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter looks at how the courts have handled political deception. This is a judicial discourse analysis, looking at how the courts have framed their arguments. An important part of this is looking at what the courts have said when finding a statute unconstitutional as opposed to the arguments made when a statute is upheld. This chapter will go through an historical exploration of the issue, looking at key cases arising from the precedent that the Sullivan case set. The chapter will begin with a section on the courts’ handling of advertising, specifically false advertising, in a more general, non-political context. This will be followed by a discussion of some significant court cases on political deception. That section will also discuss some lesser-known, lower court cases, especially those that conflict with the higher court consensus about First Amendment protection for political deception. The chapter will conclude with a transition into a discussion of the three more contemporary cases of 281 CARE Committee v. Arneson, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, and what is probably the most important court case on this issue: U.S. v. Alvarez.

Keywords

U.S. courts U.S. Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence Marketplace of ideas New York Times v. Sullivan 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert N. Spicer
    • 1
  1. 1.Millersville UniversityMillersvilleUSA

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