The quote in question: “There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.”

Greg Piper at The College Fix has the story:

Judge Quotes ‘House Of Cards’ To Knock Down Ohio Law Trampling Student Speech

Let no one say that federal judges are removed from the average American’s pop-culture obsessions.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black in Ohio quoted a line by the venal politician Frank Underwood in Netflix’s House of Cards to knock down a state law that student press and First Amendment groups said could lead students to self-censor rather than risk punishment by their universities.

The College Fix previously reported that the Supreme Court this summer ruled that “the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, has legal standing to sue Ohio even without being punished for its assertions in political campaigns.”

Being able to challenge rules that restrict freedom of speech, such as free speech zones on campus, before the government punishes the speakers – say, public universities expelling students who speak outside of those zones – is crucial, student groups had told the Supreme Court in briefs in SBA List v. Driehaus.

Judge Black permanently blocked enforcement of Ohio’s “political false-statements laws” in a Thursday ruling:

Lies have no place in the political arena and serve no purpose other than to undermine the integrity of the democratic process. The problem is that, at times, there is no clear way to determine whether a political statement is a lie or the truth. What is certain, however, is that we do not want the Government (i.e., the Ohio Elections Commission) deciding what is political truth — for fear that the Government might persecute those who criticize it. Instead, in a democracy, the voters should decide.

The Supreme Court said in 2012 the “remedy” for false speech is true speech, the judge noted:

The more modern recitation of this longstanding and fundamental principle of American law was recently articulated by Frank Underwood in House of Cards: “There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.”

Because the Supreme Court ruled that the pro-life group could challenge the Ohio law before Ohio punished it – it promised to continue claiming that Democratic House members voted to support abortion by voting for Obamacare – Judge Black said he could rule on the law’s merits now:

Accordingly, Plaintiffs face a credible threat of triggering enforcement proceedings by the [Ohio Election Commission] this fall.