135 N.E. 525 (Ohio 1922), 17139, State v. Babst

Docket Nº:17139
Citation:135 N.E. 525, 104 Ohio St. 167
Opinion Judge:HOUGH, J
Party Name:The State Of Ohio v. Babst
Attorney:Mr. Chester A. Meck, for plaintiff in error. No appearance for defendant in error.
Judge Panel:MARSHALL, C.J., JOHNSON, WANAMAKER, ROBINSON, JONES and MATTHIAS, JJ., concur.
Case Date:January 31, 1922
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 525

135 N.E. 525 (Ohio 1922)

104 Ohio St. 167

The State Of Ohio

v.

Babst

No. 17139

Supreme Court of Ohio

January 31, 1922

Constitutional law - Freedom of speech - Section 11, Article I, Constitution - Elections - Anonymous campaign documents prohibited -Section 13343-1, General Code - Criminal law.

Section 13343-1, General Code, appearing in Part Four, Title 1, Chapter 18, entitled "Offenses Relating To Elections," in its operation does not restrain or abridge the liberty of speech as guaranteed by Section 11 Article I, Bill of Rights, but is regulatory in nature, and intended to prevent abuse of the right.

The defendant in error was tried on an indictment brought under Section 13343-1, General Code, in the common pleas court, resulting in a conviction.

The court of appeals on error reversed the case on the sole ground that the above section of the General Code, under which the indictment was returned, is unconstitutional.

Error proceedings are prosecuted by the state in this Court for the purpose of reviewing the judgment of the court of appeals.

The defendant in error filed no brief, nor did he appear in person or by counsel upon the submission of the case in this court.

Mr. Chester A. Meck, for plaintiff in error.

No appearance for defendant in error.

HOUGH, J

From the record we find that the court of appeals made the following final journal entry:

"Find error in that the verdict and judgment are contrary to law. Judgment reversed at costs of [104 Ohio St. 168] defendant in error and cause remanded with direction to discharge the accused. Exceptions saved. The statute offended against is clear violation of Article I, Section 11, of the Constitution of Ohio, for the reason that the requirement of the presence of thee name of a voter constitutes a restraint within the intent of said constitutional provision. Such requirement exceeds the responsibility comprehended by said provision."

From the above entry it is clear that the court of appeals reversed on the sole ground of unconstitutionality of Section 13343-1, General Code, and it is that question with which we have to deal here. The section reads as follows:

"Whoever writes, prints, posts or distributes, or causes to be written, printed, posted or distributed, a circular or advertisement which is designed to promote the election...

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