A really interesting article reports the story of a notorious internet troll who allegedly conspired to distribute a meme aimed at deceiving pro-Hillary voters in the 2016 elections. According to the story reported by Eugene Volokh in the Tablet Mag,
In 2016, a Florida man named Douglass Mackey (using the online alias “Ricky Vaughn”) allegedly conspired to distribute a meme aimed at deceiving pro-Hillary voters.
Four years later, Mackey is now being prosecuted (as to this and as to other memes) for violating 18 U.S.C. § 241, a federal law that punishes conspiracies “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution”—namely, the right to vote. Lying to voters in a way that keeps them from voting, the theory goes, is a crime.
Is this sort of prosecution constitutional? After all, people often lie in political campaigns. Candidates do it, activists do it, political operatives do it. Can election lies simply be outlawed?
Read the full story here.