Commonwealth v. LucasAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with violating Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 56, 42, which criminalizes certain false statements about political candidates or questions submitted to voters, after her political action committee published brochures criticizing a candidate for public office. Defendant filed a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 seeking relief from the criminal complaint on the ground that section 42 is unconstitutional. The Supreme Judicial Court granted the requested relief, holding (1) section 42 is inconsistent with the fundamental right of free speech enshrined in article 16 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights and is, therefore, invalid; and (2) accordingly, the criminal complaint charging Defendant with violating section 42 must be dismissed.