Above the Law posted an item earlier this week declaring it had found the best amicus brief ever. I don’t have enough amicus brief experience to judge, but I would call this one of the funniest court filings I’ve ever read. (Intentionally funny, that is.)
That’s because it was co-authored by P.J. O’Rourke, one of the best humor writers in the country. O’Rourke is a fellow at the Cato Institute, which is supporting “a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that makes it a crime to ‘disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false,’” according to Above the Law.
The brief argues the state law would chill political speech rather than ensuring “just the facts” are discussed. It also notes it would be difficult to imagine American political discourse without disparaging statements about the opposition or the use of “truthiness,” all of which is protected by the First Amendment.
O’Rourke then provides an example of “truthiness” that would make Stephen Colbert proud:
After all, where would we be without the knowledge that Democrats are pinko-communist flag-burners who want to tax churches and use the money to fund abortions so they can use the fetal stem cells to create pot-smoking lesbian ATF agents who will steal all the guns and invite the UN to take over America? Voters have to decide whether we’d be better off electing Republicans, those hateful, assault-weapon-wielding maniacs who believe that George Washington and Jesus Christ incorporated the nation after a Gettysburg reenactment and that the only thing wrong with the death penalty is that it isn’t administered quickly enough to secular-humanist professors of Chicano studies.
If you have a couple minutes and/or need a laugh, I highly recommend reading the brief. Pay close attention to the footnotes, too, which are, dare I say, Harrell-ian in nature.