throbber
(Slip Opinion)
`
`
`
` OCTOBER TERM, 2013
`
`
`Syllabus
`
`1
`
` NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
`
`
`
` being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
`
`
`
` The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
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` prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
`
` See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`
`
` Syllabus
`
`
`
` SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST ET AL. v. DRIEHAUS ET AL.
`
`
`CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
`
`THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
` No. 13–193. Argued April 22, 2014—Decided June 16, 2014
`
`Respondent Driehaus, a former Congressman, filed a complaint with
`
`the Ohio Elections Commission alleging that petitioner Susan B. An-
`
` thony List (SBA) violated an Ohio law that criminalizes certain false
`statements made during the course of a political campaign. Specifi-
`cally, Driehaus alleged that SBA violated the law when it stated that
`his vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
`was a vote in favor of “taxpayer funded abortion.” After Driehaus
`
` lost his re-election bid, the complaint was dismissed, but SBA contin-
` ued to pursue a separate suit in Federal District Court challenging
`
`the law on First Amendment grounds. Petitioner Coalition Opposed
`
`to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) also filed a First
`Amendment challenge to the Ohio law, alleging that it had planned
`to disseminate materials presenting a similar message but refrained
`due to the proceedings against SBA. The District Court consolidated
`the two lawsuits and dismissed them as nonjusticiable, concluding
`that neither suit presented a sufficiently concrete injury for purposes
`of standing or ripeness. The Sixth Circuit affirmed on ripeness
`grounds.
`Held: Petitioners have alleged a sufficiently imminent injury for Article
`
`III purposes. Pp. 7–18.
`(a) To establish Article III standing, a plaintiff must show, inter
`
`alia, an “injury in fact,” which must be “concrete and particularized”
`
`and “actual or imminent, not ‘conjectural’ or ‘hypothetical.’ ” Lujan v.
`
`
`Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U. S. 555, 560. When challenging a law
`prior to its enforcement, a plaintiff satisfies the injury-in-fact re-
`quirement where he alleges “an intention to engage in a course of
`
`conduct arguably affected with a constitutional interest, but pro-
`
`
`scribed by a statute, and there exists a credible threat of prosecution
`
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`

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`2
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`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`
`Syllabus
`thereunder.” Babbitt v. Farm Workers, 442 U. S. 289, 298. Pp. 7–11.
`
`(b) Petitioners have alleged a credible threat of enforcement of the
`Ohio law. Pp. 11–17.
`
`
`
`(1) Petitioners have alleged “an intention to engage in a course of
`conduct arguably affected with a constitutional interest” by pleading
`
` specific statements they intend to make in future election cycles.
`
`Pp. 11–12.
`
`
`(2) Petitioners’ intended future conduct is also “arguably . . . pro-
`scribed by [the] statute.” The Ohio false statement statute sweeps
`broadly, and a panel of the Ohio Elections Commission already found
`
`probable cause to believe that SBA violated the law when it made
`
`
`
`statements similar to those petitioners plan to make in the future.
`Golden v. Zwickler, 394 U. S. 103, is distinguishable; the threat of
`
`prosecution under an electoral leafletting ban in that case was wholly
`conjectural because the plaintiff’s “sole concern” related to a former
`
`Congressman who was unlikely to run for office again. Here, by con-
`trast, petitioners’ speech focuses on the broader issue of support for
`the ACA, not on the voting record of a single candidate. Nor does
`SBA’s insistence that its previous statements were true render its
`fears of enforcement misplaced. After all, that insistence did not pre-
`vent the Commission from finding probable cause for a violation the
`first time. Pp. 12–13.
`
`
`
`(3) Finally, the threat of future enforcement is substantial.
`There is a history of past enforcement against petitioners. Past en-
`
`forcement against the same conduct is good evidence that the threat
`
`of enforcement is not “ ‘chimerical.’ ” Steffel v. Thompson, 415 U. S.
`
`
`
`
`452, 459. The credibility of that threat is bolstered by the fact that a
`complaint may be filed with the State Commission by “any person,”
`
`
`Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3517.153(A), not just a prosecutor or agency.
`
`The threatened Commission proceedings are of particular concern
`
`because of the burden they impose on electoral speech. Moreover, the
`
`target of a complaint may be forced to divert significant time and re-
`sources to hire legal counsel and respond to discovery requests in the
`crucial days before an election. But this Court need not decide
`whether the threat of Commission proceedings standing alone is suf-
`ficient; here, those proceedings are backed by the additional threat of
`
`
`criminal prosecution. Pp. 14–17.
`
`(c) The Sixth Circuit separately considered two other “prudential
`factors”: “fitness” and “hardship.” This Court need not resolve the
`
`continuing vitality of the prudential ripeness doctrine in this case be-
`
`cause those factors are easily satisfied here. See Lexmark Int’l, Inc.
`
`v. Static Control Components, Inc., 572 U. S. ___. Pp. 17–18.
`525 Fed. Appx. 415, reversed and remanded.
`THOMAS, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
`
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`

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` Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`
`1
`
`
` NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
`
`
`
` preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
`
` notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash-
`
` ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
`
`
` that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
`
`
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`_________________
`
` No. 13–193
`_________________
` SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST, ET AL., PETITIONERS v.
`
`
`STEVEN DRIEHAUS ET AL.
`
`
`ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
`
`
`APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
`
`[June 16, 2014]
`
`JUSTICE THOMAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
`Petitioners in this case seek to challenge an Ohio stat-
`
`ute that prohibits certain “false statements” during the
`course of a political campaign. The question in this case
`is whether their preenforcement challenge to that law is
`justiciable—and in particular, whether they have alleged a
`sufficiently imminent injury for the purposes of Article III.
`We conclude that they have.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`I
`The Ohio statute at issue prohibits certain “false state-
`
`ment[s]” “during the course of any campaign for nomina-
`tion or election to public office or office of a political party.”
`Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3517.21(B) (Lexis 2013). As rele-
`vant here, the statute makes it a crime for any person to
`“[m]ake a false statement concerning the voting record of a
`candidate or public official,” §3517.21(B)(9), or to “[p]ost,
`
`publish, circulate, distribute, or otherwise disseminate a
`false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing
`the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether
`
`
`
`
`
`

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`2
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`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`Opinion of the Court
` it was false or not,” §3517.21(B)(10).1
`
`“[A]ny person” acting on personal knowledge may file a
`
`
`complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission (or Com-
`mission) alleging a violation of the false statement statute.
`
`§3517.153(A) (Lexis Supp. 2014). If filed within 60 days
`
`of a primary election or 90 days of a general election, the
`complaint is referred to a panel of at least three Commis-
`sion members. §§3517.156(A), (B)(1) (Lexis 2013). The
`panel must then hold an expedited hearing, generally
`within two business days, §3517.156(B)(1), to determine
`whether there is probable cause to believe the alleged
`violation occurred, §3517.156(C). Upon a finding of proba-
`ble cause, the full Commission must, within 10 days, hold
`a hearing on the complaint. §3517.156(C)(2); see also Ohio
`Admin. Code §3517–1–10(E) (2008).
`
`The statute authorizes the full Commission to subpoena
`
`witnesses and compel production of documents. Ohio Rev.
`Code Ann. §3517.153(B) (Lexis Supp. 2014). At the full
`hearing, the parties may make opening and closing state-
`ments and present evidence. Ohio Admin. Code §§3517–
`1–11(B)(2)(c), (d), (g). If the Commission determines by
`“clear and convincing evidence” that a party has violated
`
`——————
`1Section 3517.21(B) provides in relevant part:
`
`“No person, during the course of any campaign for nomination or
`
`election to public office or office of a political party, by means of cam-
`paign materials, including sample ballots, an advertisement on radio or
`television or in a newspaper or periodical, a public speech, press re-
`lease, or otherwise, shall knowingly and with intent to affect the
`
`outcome of such campaign do any of the following:
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`.
` .
` .
` .
` .
`“(9) Make a false statement concerning the voting record of a candi-
`date or public official;
`“(10) Post, publish, circulate, distribute, or otherwise disseminate a
`false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be
`false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not, if the
`statement is designed to promote the election, nomination, or defeat of
`the candidate.”
`
`
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`
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`

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`3
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` Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`the false statement law, the Commission “shall” refer the
`matter to the relevant county prosecutor. Ohio Rev. Code
`Ann. §§3517.155(D)(1)–(2) (Lexis Supp. 2014). Alterna-
`tively, the Commission’s regulations state that it may
`simply issue a reprimand. See Ohio Admin. Code §3517–
`1–14(D). Violation of the false statement statute is a first-
`degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months of
`imprisonment, a fine up to $5,000, or both. Ohio Rev.
`Code Ann. §§3599.40 (Lexis 2013), 3517.992(V) (Lexis
`Supp. 2014). A second conviction under the false state-
`ment statute is a fourth-degree felony that carries a man-
`datory penalty of disfranchisement. §3599.39.
`
`
`II
`
`Petitioner Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) is a “pro-life
`advocacy organization.” 525 Fed. Appx. 415, 416 (CA6
`2013). During the 2010 election cycle, SBA publicly criti-
`cized various Members of Congress who voted for the
`Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
`In
`particular, it issued a press release announcing its plan to
`“educat[e] voters that their representative voted for a
`health care bill that includes taxpayer-funded abortion.”
`
`App. 49–50. The press release listed then-Congressman
`Steve Driehaus, a respondent here, who voted for the
`ACA. SBA also sought to display a billboard in Driehaus’
`district condemning that vote. The planned billboard
`
`would have read: “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus
`voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.” Id., at 37. The
`advertising company that owned the billboard space re-
`fused to display that message, however, after Driehaus’
`counsel threatened legal action.
`
`On October 4, 2010, Driehaus filed a complaint with the
`Ohio Elections Commission alleging, as relevant here, that
`
`SBA had violated §§3517.21(B)(9) and (10) by falsely
`
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`
`
`

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`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`Opinion of the Court
` stating that he had voted for “taxpayer-funded abortion.”2
`
`Because Driehaus filed his complaint 29 days before the
`general election, a Commission panel held an expedited
`hearing. On October 14, 2010, the panel voted 2 to 1 to
`find probable cause that a violation had been committed.
`The full Commission set a hearing date for 10 business
`days
`later, and the parties commenced discovery.
`Driehaus noticed depositions of three SBA employees as
`well as individuals affiliated with similar advocacy groups.
`
`He also issued discovery requests for all evidence that
`SBA would rely on at the Commission hearing, as well as
`SBA’s communications with allied organizations, political
`party committees, and Members of Congress and their
`staffs.
`On October 18, 2010—after the panel’s probable-cause
`
`determination, but before the scheduled Commission
`
`hearing—SBA filed suit in Federal District Court, seek-
`
`ing declaratory and injunctive relief on the ground that
`§§3517.21(B)(9) and (10) violate the First and Fourteenth
`Amendments of the United States Constitution. The
`District Court stayed the action under Younger v. Harris,
`401 U. S. 37 (1971), pending completion of the Commission
`proceedings. The Sixth Circuit denied SBA’s motion for an
`injunction pending appeal. Driehaus and SBA eventually
`agreed to postpone the full Commission hearing until after
`the election.
`When Driehaus lost the election in November 2010, he
`
`moved to withdraw his complaint against SBA. The
`
`Commission granted the motion with SBA’s consent. Once
`the Commission proceedings were terminated, the District
`Court lifted the stay and SBA amended its complaint. As
`——————
` 2The dispute about the falsity of SBA’s speech concerns two different
`
`provisions of the ACA: (1) the subsidy to assist lower income individ-
`uals in paying insurance premiums, and (2) the direct appropriation of
`federal money for certain health programs such as community health
`centers. See Brief for Petitioners 4–5.
`
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`4
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`

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`5
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` Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`relevant here, the amended complaint alleged that Ohio
`Rev. Code Ann. §§3517.21(B)(9) and (10) are unconstitu-
`tional both facially and as applied. Specifically, the com-
`plaint alleged that SBA’s speech about Driehaus had been
`chilled; that SBA “intends to engage in substantially
`similar activity in the future”; and that it “face[d] the
`prospect of its speech and associational rights again being
`chilled and burdened,” because “[a]ny complainant can
`hale [it] before the [Commission], forcing it to expend time
`and resources defending itself.” App. 121–122.
`
`The District Court consolidated SBA’s suit with a sepa-
`rate suit brought by petitioner Coalition Opposed to Ad-
`ditional Spending and Taxes (COAST), an advocacy orga-
`nization that also alleged that the same Ohio false
`statement provisions are unconstitutional both facially
`and as applied.3 According to its amended complaint,
`COAST intended to disseminate a mass e-mail and other
`materials criticizing Driehaus’ vote for the ACA as a vote
`“to fund abortions with tax dollars,” but refrained from
`doing so because of the Commission proceedings against
`SBA. Id., at 146, 148, 162. COAST further alleged that it
`“desires to make the same or similar statements about
`other federal candidates who voted for” the ACA, but that
`fear “of finding itself subject to the same fate” as SBA has
`deterred it from doing so. Id., at 149, 157.4
`
`——————
`3Petitioners also challenged a related “disclaimer provision,” App.
`126–127, 156–157, under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3517.20, and COAST
`
`
`
` raised pre-emption and due process claims. Reply Brief 21, n. 7.
` Petitioners do not pursue their “disclaimer,” pre-emption, or due
`
`process claims before us. Ibid. We also need not address SBA’s sepa-
`
` rate challenge to the Commission’s investigatory procedures; petition-
`ers have conceded that the procedures claim stands or falls with the
`substantive prohibition on false statements. Ibid.; see Tr. of Oral Arg.
`19. Finally, the parties agree that petitioners’ as-applied claims “are
`better read as facial objections to Ohio’s law.” Reply Brief 19. Accord-
`
`ingly, we do not separately address the as-applied claims.
`4SBA named Driehaus, the Commission’s members and its staff at-
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`6
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`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`Opinion of the Court
`The District Court dismissed both suits as non-
`
`justiciable, concluding that neither suit presented a suffi-
`ciently concrete injury for purposes of standing or ripe-
`ness. The Sixth Circuit affirmed on ripeness grounds. 525
`
`Fed. Appx. 415. The Court of Appeals analyzed three
`factors to assess whether the case was ripe for review: (1)
`the likelihood that the alleged harm would come to pass;
`(2) whether the factual record was sufficiently developed;
`and (3) the hardship to the parties if judicial relief were
`denied.
`Regarding the first factor, the Sixth Circuit concluded
`
`that SBA’s prior injuries—the probable-cause determina-
`tion and the billboard rejection—“do not help it show an
`imminent threat of future prosecution,” particularly where
`“the Commission never found that SBA . . . violated Ohio’s
`false-statement law.” Id., at 420. The court further rea-
`
`soned that it was speculative whether any person would
`file a complaint with the Commission in the future, in part
`because Driehaus took a 2-year assignment with the Peace
`Corps in Africa after losing the election. Finally, the court
`noted that SBA has not alleged that “it plans to lie or
`recklessly disregard the veracity of its speech” in the
`future, but rather maintains that the statements it in-
`tends to make are factually true. Id., at 422.
`
`As for the remaining factors, the court concluded that
`the factual record was insufficiently developed with re-
`spect to the content of SBA’s future speech, and that with-
`holding judicial relief would not result in undue hardship
`because, in the time period leading up to the 2010 election,
`SBA continued to communicate its message even after
`Commission proceedings were initiated. The Sixth Circuit
`——————
`torney (in their official capacities), and the Ohio Secretary of State (in
`her official capacity) as defendants. COAST named the Commission,
`the Commission’s members and its staff attorney (in their official
`capacities), and the Ohio Secretary of State (in her official capacity) as
`defendants. All named defendants are respondents here.
`
`
`
`
`
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`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
`
`
`Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`therefore determined that SBA’s suit was not ripe for
`review, and that its analysis as to SBA compelled the
`
`same conclusion with respect to COAST.
`
`We granted certiorari, 571 U. S. ___ (2014), and now
`reverse.
`
`7
`
`
`III
`
`A
`
`
`Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of
`
`federal courts to “Cases” and “Controversies.” U. S.
`Const., Art. III, §2. The doctrine of standing gives mean-
`ing to these constitutional limits by “identify[ing] those
`disputes which are appropriately resolved through the
`
`
`judicial process.”5 Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U. S.
`555, 560 (1992). “The law of Article III standing, which is
`built on separation-of-powers principles, serves to prevent
`the judicial process from being used to usurp the powers of
`the political branches.” Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l USA, 568
`U. S. ___, ___, (2013) (slip op., at 9). To establish Article
`III standing, a plaintiff must show (1) an “injury in fact,”
`(2) a sufficient “causal connection between the injury
`and the conduct complained of,” and (3) a “likel[ihood]”
`that the injury “will be redressed by a favorable decision.”
`
`Lujan, supra, at 560–561 (internal quotation marks
`omitted).
`
`This case concerns the injury-in-fact requirement, which
`helps to ensure that the plaintiff has a “personal stake in
`
`
`the outcome of the controversy.” Warth v. Seldin, 422
`——————
`
`5The doctrines of standing and ripeness “originate” from the same
`
` Article III limitation. DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U. S. 332,
`
`335 (2006). As the parties acknowledge, the Article III standing and
`ripeness issues in this case “boil down to the same question.” Med-
`
`
` Immune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U. S. 118, 128, n. 8 (2007); see Brief
`for Petitioners 28; Brief for Respondents 22. Consistent with our
`practice in cases like Virginia v. American Booksellers Assn., Inc., 484
`U. S. 383, 392 (1988), and Babbitt v. Farm Workers, 442 U. S. 289, 299,
`
` n. 11 (1979), we use the term “standing” in this opinion.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
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`
`

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`8
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`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`Opinion of the Court
`
`U. S. 490, 498 (1975) (internal quotation marks omitted).
`
` An injury sufficient to satisfy Article III must be “concrete
`and particularized” and “actual or imminent, not ‘conjec-
`tural’ or ‘hypothetical.’ ” Lujan, supra, at 560 (some inter-
`nal question marks omitted). An allegation of future
`injury may suffice if the threatened injury is “certainly
`impending,” or there is a “‘substantial risk’ that the harm
`
`will occur.” Clapper, 568 U. S., at ___, ___, n. 5 (slip op., at
`
`10, 15, n. 5) (emphasis deleted and internal quotation
`marks omitted).
`“‘The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the
`
`burden of establishing’ standing.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at
`12). “[E]ach element must be supported in the same way
`as any other matter on which the plaintiff bears the bur-
`den of proof, i.e., with the manner and degree of evidence
`required at the successive stages of the litigation.” Lujan,
`supra, at 561.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`B
`
`One recurring issue in our cases is determining when
`the threatened enforcement of a law creates an Article III
`injury. When an individual is subject to such a threat, an
`actual arrest, prosecution, or other enforcement action is
`not a prerequisite to challenging the law. See Steffel v.
`
`Thompson, 415 U. S. 452, 459 (1974) (“[I]t is not necessary
`
`that petitioner first expose himself to actual arrest or
`prosecution to be entitled to challenge a statute that he
`claims deters the exercise of his constitutional rights”); see
`also MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U. S. 118,
`
`128–129 (2007) (“[W]here threatened action by government
`is concerned, we do not require a plaintiff to expose him-
`self to liability before bringing suit to challenge the basis
`for the threat”).
`Instead, we have permitted pre-
`enforcement review under circumstances that render the
`threatened enforcement sufficiently imminent. Specifically,
`
`we have held that a plaintiff satisfies the injury-in-fact
`
`
`
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`

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` Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`requirement where he alleges “an intention to engage in a
`
`course of conduct arguably affected with a constitutional
`interest, but proscribed by a statute, and there exists a
`
`credible threat of prosecution thereunder.” Babbitt v.
`Farm Workers, 442 U. S. 289, 298 (1979). Several of our
`cases illustrate the circumstances under which plaintiffs
`may bring a preenforcement challenge consistent with
`Article III.
`
` In Steffel, for example, police officers threatened to
`arrest petitioner and his companion for distributing hand-
`bills protesting the Vietnam War. Petitioner left to avoid
`arrest; his companion remained and was arrested and
`charged with criminal trespass. Petitioner sought a de-
`claratory judgment that the trespass statute was uncon-
`stitutional as applied to him.
`
`We determined that petitioner had alleged a credible
`
`threat of enforcement: He had been warned to stop hand-
`billing and threatened with prosecution if he disobeyed; he
`
`stated his desire to continue handbilling (an activity he
`
`claimed was constitutionally protected); and his compan-
`ion’s prosecution showed that his “concern with arrest”
`was not “‘chimerical.’” 415 U. S., at 459. Under those
`circumstances, we said, “it is not necessary that petitioner
`first expose himself to actual arrest or prosecution to be
`entitled to challenge a statute that he claims deters the
`exercise of his constitutional rights.” Ibid.
`In Babbitt, we considered a preenforcement challenge to
`
`a statute that made it an unfair labor practice to encour-
`age consumers to boycott an “agricultural product . . . by
`the use of dishonest, untruthful and deceptive publicity.’”
`442 U. S., at 301. The plaintiffs contended that the law
`“unconstitutionally penalize[d] inaccuracies inadvertently
`uttered in the course of consumer appeals.” Ibid.
`Building on Steffel, we explained that a plaintiff could
`
`
`bring a preenforcement suit when he “has alleged an
`intention to engage in a course of conduct arguably af-
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`9
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`
`
`
`
`
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`

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` 10
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`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`Opinion of the Court
`fected with a constitutional interest, but proscribed by a
`statute, and there exists a credible threat of prosecution
`thereunder.” Babbit, supra, at 298. We found those cir-
`cumstances present in Babbitt. In that case, the law “on
`
`its face proscribe[d] dishonest, untruthful, and deceptive
`publicity.” 442 U. S., at 302. The plaintiffs had “actively
`engaged in consumer publicity campaigns in the past” and
`alleged “an intention to continue” those campaigns in the
`future. Id., at 301. And although they did not “plan to
`propagate untruths,” they argued that “‘erroneous state-
`ment is inevitable in free debate.’” Ibid. We concluded
`that the plaintiffs’ fear of prosecution was not “imaginary
`or wholly speculative,” and that their challenge to the
`
`consumer publicity provision presented an Article III case
`or controversy. Id., at 302.
`
`Two other cases bear mention. In Virginia v. American
`
`
`
`
`Booksellers Assn. Inc., 484 U. S. 383 (1988), we held that
`booksellers could seek preenforcement review of a law
`making it a crime to “‘knowingly display for commercial
`purpose’” material that is “‘harmful to juveniles’” as
`defined by the statute.
`Id., at 386. At trial, the
`booksellers introduced 16 books they believed were cov-
`ered by the statute and testified that costly compliance
`measures would be necessary to avoid prosecution for
`
`displaying such books. Just as in Babbitt and Steffel, we
`determined that the “pre-enforcement nature” of the suit
`was not “troubl[ing]” because the plaintiffs had “alleged an
`actual and well-founded fear that the law will be enforced
`against them.” 484 U. S., at 393.
`
` Finally, in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561
`U. S. 1 (2010), we considered a preenforcement challenge
`
`to a law that criminalized “‘knowingly provid[ing] mate-
`rial support or resources to a foreign terrorist organiza-
`tion.’” Id., at 8. The plaintiffs claimed that they had
`provided support to groups designated as terrorist organi-
`zations prior to the law’s enactment and would provide
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
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`
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`
`
`
`

`
` Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`similar support in the future. The Government had
`charged 150 persons with violating the law and declined to
`disavow prosecution if the plaintiffs resumed their support
`of the designated organizations. We held that the claims
`were justiciable: The plaintiffs faced a “‘credible threat’”
`of enforcement and “‘should not be required to await and
`undergo a criminal prosecution as the sole means of seek-
`
`ing relief.’” Id., at 15.
`
`
`
`
`
`IV
`
`
`Here, SBA and COAST contend that the threat of en-
`forcement of the false statement statute amounts to an
`Article III injury in fact. We agree: Petitioners have al-
`leged a credible threat of enforcement. See Babbitt, 442
`U. S., at 298.
`
`
`
`A
`
`First, petitioners have alleged “an intention to engage in
`a course of conduct arguably affected with a constitutional
`interest.”
`Ibid. Both petitioners have pleaded specific
`
`statements they intend to make in future election cycles.
`SBA has already stated that representatives who voted for
`the ACA supported “taxpayer-funded abortion,” and it has
`alleged an “inten[t] to engage in substantially similar
`activity in the future.” App. 49–50, 122. See also Human-
`itarian Law Project, supra, at 15–16 (observing that plain-
`tiffs had previously provided support to groups designated
`as terrorist organizations and alleged they “would provide
`similar support [to the same terrorist organizations] again
`if the statute’s allegedly unconstitutional bar were lifted”).
`COAST has alleged that it previously intended to dissemi-
`
`nate materials criticizing a vote for the ACA as a vote “to
`fund abortions with tax dollars,” and that it “desires to
`make the same or similar statements about other federal
`
`candidates who voted for [the ACA].” App. 146, 149, 162.
`Because petitioners’ intended future conduct concerns
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
` 11
`
`
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`
`
`
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`
`
`
`

`
`
` 12
`
`
`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`Opinion of the Court
`political speech, it is certainly “affected with a constitu-
`tional interest.” Babbitt, supra, at 298; see also Monitor
`Patriot Co. v. Roy, 401 U. S. 265, 272 (1971) (“[T]he consti-
`tutional guarantee has its fullest and most urgent applica-
`tion precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political
`office”).
`
`B
`Next, petitioners’ intended future conduct is “argua-
`
`bly. . . proscribed by [the] statute” they wish to challenge.
`
`Babbitt, supra, at 298. The Ohio false statement law
`sweeps broadly, see supra, at 1–2, and n. 1., and covers
`the subject matter of petitioners’ intended speech. Both
`SBA and COAST have alleged an intent to “[m]ake”
`statements “concerning the voting record of a candidate or
`public official,” §3517.21(B)(9), and to “disseminate”
`statements “concerning a candidate . . . to promote the
`
`the candidate,”
`election, nomination, or defeat of
`§3517.21(B)(10). And, a Commission panel here already
`found probable cause to believe that SBA violated the
`statute when it stated that Driehaus had supported
`“taxpayer-funded abortion”—the same sort of statement
`
`petitioners plan to disseminate in the future. Under these
`circumstances, we have no difficulty concluding that peti-
`tioners’ intended speech is “arguably proscribed” by the
`law.
`Respondents incorrectly rely on Golden v. Zwickler, 394
`
`U. S. 103 (1969). In that case, the plaintiff had previously
`distributed anonymous leaflets criticizing a particular
`
`Congressman who had since left office. Id., at 104–106,
`and n. 2. The Court dismissed the plaintiff ’s challenge to
`the electoral leafletting ban as nonjusticiable because his
`“sole concern was literature relating to the Congressman
`and his record,” and “it was most unlikely that the Con-
`gressman would again be a candidate.” Id., at 109 (em-
`phasis added). Under those circumstances, any threat of
`
`
`
`

`
`
`
` 13
`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 573 U. S. ____ (2014)
`
`Opinion of the Court
` future prosecution was “wholly conjectural.” Ibid.
`
`
`Here, by contrast, petitioners’ speech focuses on the
`broader issue of support for the ACA, not on the voting
`record of a single candidate. See Reply Brief 4–5 (identify-
`ing other elected officials who plan to seek reelection as
`
`
`potential objects of SBA’s criticisms). Because petitioners’
`alleged future speech is not directed exclusively at
`Driehaus, it does not matter whether he “may run for
`office again.” Brief for Respondents 33 (internal quotation
`marks omitted). As long as petitioners continue to engage
`in comparable electoral speech regarding support for the
`ACA, that speech will remain arguably proscribed by
`Ohio’s false statement statute.
`Respondents, echoing the Sixth Circuit, contend that
`
`
`SBA’s fears of enforcement are misplaced because SBA
`
`has not said it “‘plans to lie or recklessly disregard the
`
`veracity of its speech.’” Id., at 15 (quoting 525 Fed. Appx.,
`at 422). The Sixth Circuit reasoned that because SBA
`“can only be liable for making a statement ‘knowing’ it is
`false,” SBA’s insistence that its speech is factually true
`“makes the possibility of prosecution for uttering such
`statements exceedingly slim.” Id., at 422.
`
`
`The Sixth Circuit misses the point. SBA’s insistence
`that the allegations in its press release were true did not
`
`prevent the Commission panel from finding probable
`cause to believe that SBA had violated the law the first
`
`time around. And, there is every reason to think that
`similar speech in the future will result in similar proceed-
`ings, notwithstanding SBA’s belief in the truth of its alle-
`
`gations. Nothing in this Court’s decisions requires a
`plaintiff who wishes to challenge the constitutionality of a
`law to confess that he will in fact violate that law. See,
`
`e.g., Babbitt, 442 U. S., at 301 (case was justiciable even
`
`though plaintiffs disavowed any intent to “propagate
`
`untruths”).
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
` 14
`
`
`SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST v. DRIEHAUS
`
`
`Opinion of the Court
`
`C
`
`
`Finally, the threat of future enforcement of the false
`statement statute is substantial. Most obviously, there is
`a history of past enforcement here: SBA was the subject of
`a complaint in a recent election cycle. We have observed
`that pas

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