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McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission

Significance, Talley V. California, Regulation Of The Electoral Process, "exacting Scrutiny", . . . Or Perhaps Not


Joseph McIntyre, Executor of the Estate of Margaret McIntyre


Ohio Elections Commission

Petitioner's Claim

That 3599.09(A) of the Ohio Code violates the right to free speech under the First Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

David Goldberger

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Andrew I. Sutter

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens (writing for the Court), Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

19 April 1995


The Court, reversing a lower court's ruling, held that an Ohio statute prohibiting anonymous campaign literature was unconstitutional.

Anonymity Part of Original Intent

Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion agreeing with the Court's judgment, but not its reasoning. Thomas presented a history of anonymous publishing in the United States, to establish that the original intent of the First Amendment encompasses anonymous publishing. The Court's reasoning in the case, he argued, was largely irrelevant; it was the framers' understanding that was important.

Related Cases

  • State v. Babst, 135 N.E. 525 (1922).
  • Talley v. California, 362 U.S. 60 (1960).
  • Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974).
  • Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
  • First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765 (1978).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988