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Election Denial Is Legally Protected Speech

Election Denial Is Legally Protected Speech

Should the law do more to punish persons who falsely assert that an election was rigged or stolen? That’s a demand being heard from some academics and officials. But any general attempt to legislate against so‐​called election denial soon runs into the First Amendment. To begin by conceding the exceptions: it’s perfectly true that some false statements about election outcomes lack First Amendment protection and can land you in legal trouble under current law. The list starts with statements that the law might view as defamation: that’s why the Dominion voting machine company can and has...

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Extinguishing Some Election Day Rumors

Extinguishing Some Election Day Rumors

How much went right with Tuesday’s midterm election? A lot. Violence at the polls, much feared, didn’t happen. Nor did widespread intimidation. For all the talk of voter suppression, poll access was healthy and uneventful in the state of Georgia and pretty much everywhere else. Nearly all candidates who’d expressed distrust in the electoral process did in fact concede in a timely way on losing their races. (On this last, Benjy Sarlin offers one plausible explanation, which is that Donald Trump simply is unlike most persons in his willingness to commit with total intensity to a storm of lies:...

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