Ohio v. Beckley

Is the Ohio State Pyramid statute an unconstitutional prior restraint of speech?


The Ohio Supreme Court held that the state statute prohibiting pyramid schemes was not a prior restraint on free speech. The statute prohibits proposing, planning and preparing to operate a pyramid plan or program. Beckley challenged the statute's constitutionality, arguing that by prohibiting planning and proposing a pyramid program, the statute was an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech. The Court disagreed; saying that when read in conjunction with the penalty section of the statute, there was no risk of it being applied as a prior restraint on speech. The construction of a statute depends on its operation and effect, not on the form. By looking at the whole statute, the court disagreed with Beckley's argument, and reversed the trial court.

Case and case summary are also available online at: http://www.mlmlegal.com/legal-cases/Ohio_v_Beckley.php

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Reference Info:State, 6th Circuit, Ohio | United States

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